The Largest Structure in Universe Discovered --Quasar Group 4 Billion Light-Years Wide Challenges Current Cosmology
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January 12, 2013

The Largest Structure in Universe Discovered --Quasar Group 4 Billion Light-Years Wide Challenges Current Cosmology

 

 

           Lqgrgb

 

The largest known structure in the universe has been discovered by an international team of astronomers. The large quasar group (LQG -a portion shown above)) is so large that it would take a vehicle traveling at the speed of light some 4 billion years to cross it. Quasars are the nuclei of galaxies from the early days of the universe that undergo brief periods of extremely high brightness that make them visible across huge distances. These periods are 'brief' in astrophysics terms but actually last 10-100 million years. Since 1982 it has been known that quasars tend to group together in clumps or 'structures' of surprisingly large sizes, forming large quasar groups or LQGs.

The LQG also challenges the Cosmological Principle, the assumption that the universe, when viewed at a sufficiently large scale, looks the same no matter where you are observing it from. The modern theory of cosmology is based on the work of Albert Einstein, and depends on the assumption of the Cosmological Principle. The Principle is assumed but has never been demonstrated observationally 'beyond reasonable doubt'.

To give some sense of scale, our galaxy, the Milky Way, is separated from its nearest neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, by about 0.75 Megaparsecs (Mpc) or 2.5 million light-years.

Whole clusters of galaxies can be 2-3 Mpc across but LQGs can be 200 Mpc or more across. Based on the Cosmological Principle and the modern theory of cosmology, calculations suggest that astrophysicists should not be able to find a structure larger than 370 Mpc. Clowes' newly discovered LQG however has a typical dimension of 500 Mpc. But because it is elongated, its longest dimension is 1200 Mpc (or 4 billion light years) - some 1600 times larger than the distance from the Milky Way to Andromeda.

"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," said Dr Clowes of University of Central Lancashire's Jeremiah Horrocks Institute. "This is hugely exciting – not least because it runs counter to our current understanding of the scale of the universe. Even travelling at the speed of light, it would take 4 billion years to cross. This is significant not just because of its size but also because it challenges the Cosmological Principle, which has been widely accepted since Einstein. Our team has been looking at similar cases which add further weight to this challenge and we will be continuing to investigate these fascinating phenomena."

The colored background of the image below indicates the peaks and troughs in the occurrence of quasars at the distance of the LQG. Darker colors indicate more quasars, lighter colors indicate fewer quasars. The LQG is clearly seen as a long chain of peaks indicated by black circles. (The red crosses mark the positions of quasars in a different and smaller LQG). The horizontal and vertical axes represent right ascension and declination, the celestial equivalent of longitude and latitude. The map covers around 29.4 by 24 degrees on the sky, indicating the huge scale of the newly discovered structure.

 

            Skydist_huge-lqg_cclqg

The team publish their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The Daily Galaxy via Royal Astronomical Society

Image Credit: R. G. Clowes / UCLan

Comments

I'd really like to know if the high energy jets produced by quasars can coalesce into matter as they cool, slowing during their trajectory, therefore create stars and eventually, once these have died and recycled, planet producing stellar systems? If there are many quasars grouping together with high energy jets produced these would indeed diffuse into space that is less occupied with energy and matter.

Taking it a step further if there were vast groups of LQGs in themselves (groups of groups) could these eventually produce galaxies as the cooled and slowed products of their combined energy jets gravitationally coalesced?

Andrew: Quasars and other such bodies don't produce those jets, afaik, they only attract matter with their gravity, which forms an accretion disk, and if the disk gets too large or disrupted, some of the matter escapes as jets from the poles. It's unlikely, but not impossible, that the ejected matter will go further than the gas and dust that was originally there, but generally, matter seems to tend to concentrate - which is why galaxies form filaments.

Some of these days someone will have to read Halton Arp book to discover that many redshifts are not cosmological.. I hope some day all this nonsense "discoveries" come to an end... how many more absurdities? Its been 40 years since Astronomy is not science but bigbang-ism.

Versus being Theism?

A distant part of the ''big sponge'' this large structure is no more, it dried up and started to break apart.

fractal scaling present in large scales of the universe perhaps?

@ Carl. I'd rather relegate your argumentation to semantics in that the gravitational pull from those quasars is what ultimately produces high energy jets from a crammed 'stormy' accretion disc, but you have to admit that that same gravitational pull comes from the quasars in the first place. Also, and here is where you really don't know your facts, it is well documented in several bona-fide sources on the internet that black hole energy jets travel much, much further than their accretion discs and gravitational pull. Thank you anyway.

Morons! quasars are not far away as discovered by H. Arp! It means that th calculated distances between them are wrong and this cluster actually is not that big.

most likely lensing effects and it is not that big

when can we see the surface of all the new discoverd planets outside our solarsystem?

It's good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, thanx now i have the link which i was looking for my research. . . . . .

If the LQG's can be astonishingly 4 billion light years in Diameter
then what exactly will be the diameter of the universe because according to Big Bang Theory which happened some 14 billion light years ago, the diameter of our universe should be 28 billion light years( because nothing can travel faster than speed of light)
So all the possible structures in the universe should be in between 14 billion light years on either side from the center
So my Question is What if the size of the universe(where the stars or matter can actually be possible) is bigger than 28 billion light years?
Also it is true that universe in itself have no end or measurement
So if the matter or anti matter or stars are beyond the possible limit of the expansion of our known Big Bang , so is it is possible that there was another big bang happened in the universe before or after the known big bang happened?
And on other hand what is the gravitational force binding together cluster of hundered's of billions of stars and massive 73 quasars in the new found LQG because to have them binding together there have to be a black holes as massive as the total size of our milky way galaxy

Please answer my questions
Thanks

@Nitesh
That is where you are wrong. Space is said to expand faster then the speed of light. Dark energy is said to accelerate this expansion. In the beginning of the universe, space was pure energy, and had expanded at speed not thought possible, and it is
continuing to gain speed. therefore, it is more than likely that the universe is larger than expected. The universe can be more accurately measured by looking at how fast the universe is expanding, compared to how fast it was expanding ten years ago, and measure both of those against how fast the universe will expand in ten years. I don't think I answered your question, but I hope I shed some insight. also, this large quasar group is said to be 9 billion years old... although that is strange, as it means that we see it 9 billion years ago, not the point though. Please cross read all of the information, as you can probably gain better information, and have more up to date information. quasars are said to contain black holes... and I most likely don't know what I am talking about, as I am 14 years old. However you can find better sources out there

Please see this feature story on my blog called the HolographicGalaxy. I have a photo art of a hypercluster filament, with the large quasar group orbiting around it, and billions of smaller scale galaxies inside the hypercluster filament. it is the best current fractal cosmological model with this new data on LQG's.

If the LQG's can be astonishingly 4 billion light years in Diameter
then what exactly will be the diameter of the universe because according to Big Bang Theory which happened some 14 billion light years ago, the diameter of our universe should be 28 billion light years( because nothing can travel faster than speed of light)
So all the possible structures in the universe should be in between 14 billion light years on either side from the center
So my Question is What if the size of the universe(where the stars or matter can actually be possible) is bigger than 28 billion light years?
Also it is true that universe in itself have no end or measurement
So if the matter or anti matter or stars are beyond the possible limit of the expansion of our known Big Bang , so is it is possible that there was another big bang happened in the universe before or after the known big bang happened?
And on other hand what is the gravitational force binding together cluster of hundered's of billions of stars and massive 73 quasars in the new found LQG because to have them binding together there have to be a black holes as massive as the total size of our milky way galaxy

Please answer my questions
Thanks

Aditya, no its not Special relativity has an upper speed limit,

General relativity has an 'informational' speed limit, the later is the current theory, it allows for any two objects to travel away from each other faster than the speed of light, but in this situation they can not transfer information (communicate) between them (in other ways they aren't causally linked), its only allowed by the stretching of space-time its self.

The current visible universe is 46 billion light years across (cit. Wikipedia)

Inflationary cosmology is an attempt to explain this, one of the properties is that it was opaque so information could only transfer very small distances (quantum scale) allow for these regions to travel at vast speeds from each other, without violating GR.

amazing how much we 'think' we know huh. Give it another year until we 'think' we know some more, and the facts will change again. It's all best guess and opinion until we can truly explore these things. After all, all of our facts today are just the most widely accepted opinions that we believe to be the most accurate in our eyes, of course, I suppose that is indeed what we know as science . What we 'think' we know

The Largest Structure in Universe Discovered --Quasar Group 4 Billion Light-Years Wide Challenges Current Cosmology is probably the perfect title Ive ever seen

Scientists can see the universe back over 13.6 billion years ago. That doesn't mean a tiny fraction of all the galaxies are visible though. Space is expanding and the rate that it expands is accelerating. An estimated lower limit for the actual size of the whole universe is that the total visible universe only accounts for a millionth of the total universe.

The accelerating expansion of the universe is theorized to be caused by a dark energy (unknown energy).

The gravity that holds all the galaxies together but that isn't accounted for by the visible mass is dark matter.

What Dark Matter is, is unknown, though it is known that dark matter either only interacts by gravity or by gravity and the other forces so weakly that even at such vast scales and masses it still can't be detected directly.

As to other statements like holographic or Halton Arp's theories, a tremendous amount of the universe remains very unknown on extremely large scales way beyond one galaxy and on extremely small sub-atomic levels as compared to what we know about the normal and atomic scales even though that information isn't complete. So it is possible that Big Bang is wrong, though any current theory could be wrong or all of them could be wrong when it comes to those large scales. That's the point though, as more information is acquired theories get discarded and refined and new ones created.

HAM SANDWICH!!!!

We still think the universe is 14 billion years old? How cute. Young minds, young universe I guess. :-)


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