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Spooky Discovery About the Largest Structure in the Universe (Today's Most Viewed)

 

 

Gbtm31m33

 


On January 11, 2013, the discovery of a vast grouping of 73s quasars, a form of supermassive black hole active galactic nuclei, with a minimum diameter of 1.4 billion light-years, stretched over four billion light-years at its widest point was announced by the University of Central Lancashire, as the largest known structure in the universe LQGs are thought to be precursors to the sheets, walls and filaments of galaxies found in the relatively nearby universe. The existence of structures of the magnitude of large quasar clusters was believed theoretically impossible. Cosmological structures had been believed to have a size limit of approximately 1.2 billion light-years.

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. The whole of Earth’s history is equal to the time that it takes photons to travel across the vast expanse of the LQG. As the largest known structure in the universe, the LQG is so vast that it would take a spaceship traveling at the speed of light some 4 billion years to cross it.

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'.

This year, a team led by Damien Hutsemékers from the University of Liège in Belgium used the FORS instrument on the VLT to study 93 quasars that were known to form huge groupings spread over billions of light-years, seen at a time when the Universe was about one third of its current age. "The first odd thing we noticed was that some of the quasars' rotation axis were aligned with each other -- despite the fact that these quasars are separated by billions of light-years," said Hutsemékers.

"The alignments in the new data, on scales even bigger than current predictions from simulations, may be a hint that there is a missing ingredient in our current models of the cosmos," observed Dominique Sluse of the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie in Bonn, Germany and University of Liège.

The team then went further and looked to see if the rotation axes were linked, not just to each other, but also to the structure of the Universe on large scales at that time.

When astronomers look at the distribution of galaxies on scales of billions of light-years they find that they are not evenly distributed. They form a cosmic web of filaments and clumps around huge voids where galaxies are scarce. This intriguing and beautiful arrangement of material is known as large-scale structure.

The new VLT results indicate that the rotation axes of the quasars tend to be parallel to the large-scale structures in which they find themselves. So, if the quasars are in a long filament then the spins of the central black holes will point along the filament. The researchers estimate that the probability that these alignments are simply the result of chance is less than 1%.

"A correlation between the orientation of quasars and the structurethey belong to is an important prediction of numerical models of evolution of our Universe. Our data provide the first observational confirmation of this effect, on scales much larger that what had been observed to date for normal galaxies," adds Sluse.

The team could not see the rotation axes or the jets of the quasars directly. Instead they measured the polarisation of the light from each quasar and, for 19 of them, found a significantly polarised signal. The direction of this polarisation, combined with other information, could be used to deduce the angle of the accretion disc and hence the direction of the spin axis of the quasar.

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. The 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," says Dr Clowes of University of Central Lancashire'sJeremiah Horrocks Institute. "This is hugely exciting – not least because it runs counter to our current understanding of the scale of the universe. Even traveling 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 team published their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

This research was presented in a paper entitled "Alignment of quasar polarizations with large-scale structures", by D. Hutsemékers et al., to appear in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on 19 November 2014.

The ESO team is composed of D. Hutsemékers (Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium), L. Braibant (Liège), V. Pelgrims (Liège) and D. Sluse (Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Bonn, Germany; Liège).

The Daily Galaxy via ESO

Image at top of page: NRAO rendering of the Large Quasar Group 

Comments

Very interesting. I wonder if similar findings might come from observations of the H-CB Great Wall?

Cosmological structures had been believed to have a size limit of approximately 1.2 billion light-years. Really?

The universe genius' have found another surprise anomaly.

I don't think these findings will keep happening since we have it all figured out already. No more mystery's or surprises.

Duh? Isn't the largest known structure the Universe itself? If you blow up a singularity, what are the chances that all stuff will be evenly distributed? I think the probability is close to zero.

Weinstein - I would agree - the probability of an even distribution is about as close to zero, in this universe, as is possible.
On an aside, reading this article my thoughts recalled the ending of the first MLB movie.

A singularity has no geometry, no shape. Thus, a singularity should produce a universe with matter evenly distributed. All add on is pure imagination.

There is no singularity, and energy is discrete and conserved. People should accept this facts, once and for all!

Where exactly did the "space" come from that the singularity (Big Bangs) expands into?

How did the singularity form in the first place if there was no space/time prior to the Big Bang..??

Is the answer science or religion..??

The answer to the above questions as theorized by Big Bang cosmology is found at the end of each sentence. "." = BB^-1

This is not science, it's religion.

The word "infinate" is used a lot in Big Bang Cosmology. I guess there are infinate answers, as in anything goes, once your key postulates, beyond "space is big and matter moves within space" prove fallible by actual observation. That's the thing about proving the math to be right but the observation doesn't agree.

Tell to-day some basic discoveries, such as the movement of the galaxies, the rates of hydrogen and helium in the universe, the cosmic radiation, etc., fully adapted to the theory of the Big Bang.
But the new discoveries, such as the accelerated motion of the galaxies, the enormity of the universe, the consistency of galaxies, the age of galaxies relative to the age of the universe, etc., can no longer be explained by the theory of the Big Bang.
Science trying to adapt the new discoveries, to the theory of the Big Bang, creates new questions which, I feel have led research on a deadlock. This is the reason that makes me believe that science should stop the one-sided investigation, based exclusively on the Big Bang theory, and crouch with the same eagerness and on the other proposed views.
In the book, “From the inside of quarks and up to beyond the Universe” describe the theory of “Pointal charges” that I believe adapts better together, to the new and to the old discoveries. I believe that this theory already had to have taken seriously into account by science.

Michael C. Never hurts to ask questions. If you don't question - it becomes, as Black Sci-Fi imples - a religion.
There is nothing illogical about the implications of this article - mass and energy are neither created or destroyed, they just change form. We are just too ignorant, at this point, to understand how A became B. As this point.....

I think we're going to find out that these voids are the blown out grave yards of the very first objects that coalesced from the infinitely dense plasma of the early universe. Volumes of gas so vast and dense, they collapsed not into suns but directly into the largest supernovas to ever exist. The resulting explosions pushed all the matter and "dark matter" into the long ropy strings that have formed the 3D net-like structure of the universe. The observation that proto-galaxies and quasars having a similar orientation over a given length of string" only seems to be a natural occurrence resulting from the convective motion of gas and elemental debris within the string.

big bang, early universe, singularities, all false facts in the story problem of life. if you can't get the factors right you can't ask the right questions and will never get the right answers.

if something was traveling the speed of light squared, how would we see it or sense it. saying that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light is an assumption. not provable.

@john burns. Very short, but very nice comment.


The size an scale is awe inspiring.
it seems that a new mathematical model is need soon for all the new discoveries.
It's not that our standard models are wrong;
-it's just there is more to discover I believe.

The image above is inaccurate,just because our technology is not good enough to show that the entire structure is connected through filamental birkland currents.these electric plasma fields can be like the electricity that powers your home,you obviously know its there but you cannot see it.

The most telling comment here is "a missing ingredient in our current models of the cosmos". What's apparent here is that quasars line up because of the electrical (plasmic) nature of the universe. There is no missing matter (dark or otherwise). The universe is infinitely old and there is no concrete evidence that the BB happened 13.8 b/y ago. These structures have been in existence for a long, long time. Science can't explain why. They don't know where the voids come from; they don't know how or why galaxy clusters align themselves. The BB singularity theory suggests that the universe should be the same everywhere and homogeneous in nature. It is not.

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