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Space & Astronomy

Astronomers perplexed by huge ring of galaxies in deep space

By T.K. Randall
January 13, 2024 · Comment icon 9 comments
The Big Ring.
The Big Ring and the Giant Arc. Image Credit: Stellarium / University of Central Lancashire
Scientists in the UK have discovered what appears to be a gargantuan ring-shaped structure far off in space.
Measuring a whopping 1.3 billion light-years in diameter, this immense structure - named the Big Ring - is so large that it appears 15 times the size of the Moon when viewed from the Earth's surface (though it is not actually visible with the naked eye).

Identified by Alexia Lopez - a PhD student at the University of Central Lancashire - the ring is unlike anything ever seen before and challenges our current understanding of the universe.

In other words - something like this shouldn't actually exist because it violates what is known as the cosmological principle which concerns the distribution of matter throughout the cosmos.

"This is the seventh large structure discovered in the universe that contradicts the idea that the cosmos is smooth on the largest scales," said Dr Robert Massey, deputy director of the Royal Astronomical Society.
"If these structures are real, then it's definitely food for thought for cosmologists and the accepted thinking on how the universe has evolved over time."

In addition to the Big Ring, Lopez also discovered a second structure - the Giant Arc - which spans some 3.3 billion light-years of space.

"It's really surreal," she said. "I do have to pinch myself, because I made these discoveries accidentally, they were serendipitous discoveries."

"Neither of these two ultra-large structures is easy to explain in our current understanding of the universe. And their ultra-large sizes, distinctive shapes, and cosmological proximity must surely be telling us something important - but what exactly?"

Source: BBC News | Comments (9)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Trelane 3 months ago
She gives us glimpses and constantly flirts with us, but the Universe remains a very mysterious lady.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Rolci 3 months ago
... while Earth scientists remain very, very clueless talking monkeys (who nonetheless maintain the idea that they know much and understand a lot about the Universe).
Comment icon #3 Posted by Trelane 3 months ago
Comment icon #4 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 3 months ago
The real clueless talking monkeys are those that type anti-science nonsense on their computers whilst lacking the self awareness to grasp the hilarious irony of the fact that they are using the internet to spread their intellectually deficient gibberish.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Cho Jinn 3 months ago
Hey now, the sun monster is very real.
Comment icon #6 Posted by qxcontinuum 3 months ago
Many, are indeed just monkeys and those tend to be noisy and spread theories across that wold end up in dissaray. However there are some brilliant minds trying to descifre the universe . Ptogress has been made but It would take  centuries to understand everything .
Comment icon #7 Posted by Hammerclaw 3 months ago
Through Hamlet, the Great Bard put it best: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." We've much yet to learn.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Cho Jinn 3 months ago
Shakespeare?  I thought it was Bill Kerr in the short-lived Australian crypto show Animal X.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Hammerclaw 3 months ago
Wouldn't know. The only Australian shows I've ever seen is Skippy and The Crocodile Hunter.

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