Fiji Times Logo

Fiji Time: 9:20 PM on Tuesday 22 July

/ Front page / Features

Astronomers spot cosmos structure

Afp
Sunday, January 13, 2013

PARIS - Astronomers say they have observed the largest structure yet seen in the cosmos, a cluster of galaxies from the early universe that spans an astonishing four billion light years.

The sprawling structure is known as a large quasar group (LQG), in which quasars — the nuclei of ancient galaxies, powered by supermassive black holes —clump together.

The discovery in the deep Universe was made by a team led by Roger Clowes at the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute at Britain's University of Central Lancashire.

It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light four thousand million years to get from one end of the cluster to the other.

To give a sense of scale, our galaxy (the Milky Way) is separated from its nearest neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy, by two-and-a-half million light years.

"While it is difficult to fathom the scale of this LQG, we can say quite definitely it is the largest structure ever seen in the entire Universe," Clowes said in a press statement issued by Britain's Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).

"This is hugely exciting, not least because it runs counter to our current understanding of the scale of the universe."

The paper appears in a RAS journal, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Playing 'enemy'
  2. Calls for support
  3. $24,000 payout a lifeline for family
  4. Facelift for bus stand
  5. Peg thefts worry FRA
  6. Group stands ground
  7. No extra fees
  8. A step closer
  9. Nursery to boost fish farming
  10. Countdown for Kaila! Star Search contestants

Top Stories this Week

  1. Client rape Thursday (17 Jul)
  2. REVEALED Preachers, cops pay for sex Friday (18 Jul)
  3. Tuwai resets focus Wednesday (16 Jul)
  4. Railway soldiers Monday (21 Jul)
  5. Predators lure young girls online Thursday (17 Jul)
  6. Friends, quick cash the lure into prostitution Friday (18 Jul)
  7. 911 let-down for homeowner Monday (21 Jul)
  8. Higher number of sex workers, report reveals Wednesday (16 Jul)
  9. Police find tyres Monday (21 Jul)
  10. Playing 'enemy' Tuesday (22 Jul)