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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: The Largest Structure in the Universe
11 January 2013 2:20 pm
Astronomers have discovered the largest structure yet seen in the universe, a clump of quasars so large that it would take light 4 billion years to traverse its widest dimension. Light from these quasars started its journey when the universe was only 5 billion years old, the researchers say. Far larger than previously discovered groups of quasars, the structure (artist's depiction of a single quasar) is so large that it challenges Albert Einstein's cosmological principle—the notion that the universe, at large scales, looks the same no matter the direction and locale from which you look. According to that theory, the researchers say, the universe's large-scale structures—in this case, clumps of objects such as quasars—shouldn't be larger than 1.2 billion light-years across. The elongated, newly discovered large quasar group (LQG) is, on average, about 1.63 billion light-years across but in its largest dimension is more than 4 billion light-years across, the researchers report today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. By comparison, typical clusters of galaxies can be nearly 10 million light-years across. Bringing the comparison to our cosmic neighborhood, the new record-holding group of quasars spans about 1600 times the distance between our Milky Way galaxy and our neighbor Andromeda.
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