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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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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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