The universe is tremendously big. So, somewhere in the deepness, you can find unimaginably big structures. Thus, making us look very insignificant.
In November 2013 astronomers have found an enormously large structure. It would take you 10 billion light-years to cross it.
Astronomers call this structure ‘Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall’. It lies in a really distant part of the universe.
The huge distance implies this object was in existence only 4 billion years after the Big Bang.
This giant structure is a galactic filament. Gravity bounds a vast group of galaxies together.
“The Her-CrB GW is larger than the theoretical upper limit on how big universal structures can be,” Dr. Jon Hakkila, an astrophysics professor at the College of Charleston in South Carolina and one of the astronomers who discovered the structure, told The Huffington Post in an email. “Thus, it is a conundrum: it shouldn’t exist but apparently does.”
This structure beats the previous record-holder, the Huge-LQG, or Large Quasar Group, which is a cluster of 73 quasars. Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall is more than double the size of the Large Quasar Group, which spans 4 billion light-years.
Astronomers were able to determine the size of the structure by mapping gamma-ray bursts from this group of galaxies.
Bigger stars form in areas with more material in general. So, gamma-ray bursts can give astronomers a rough estimate of how much matter a particular region contains.
“We’re treating each (gamma ray burst) source as if it’s a pin in the map and it’s sticking to something,” Hakkila told Discovery News.
Further monitoring of gamma-ray bursts should provide more evidence for the structure’s existence.
Currently, astronomers are baffled because they don’t have an idea how something that big could have evolved.
However, this is the reason why we are curious and exploratory species. We live to learn and universe’s past has so much to tell us.
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” ― Rachel Carson.
The finding is published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Thumbnail credit: ESO