Thursday, July 27, 2006

Universe's Largest Structure Found - It's a Blob!

Astronomers have discovered the universe's largest structure. It's not exactly a thing, rather a gigantic linkage of various 30 large clouds of gas and thousands of galaxies.

The blob of gas measures 200 million light-years across. It surpasses the Great Wall, which was discovered a dozen or more years ago.

Unfortunately, it's not very photogenic. Here's a 3-D simulation of the blob.

Here's a sampling of what the blobs actually look like (the green clouds). The astronomers found that all these were linked.

Should you care? If you're interested in how today's universe came to be, this is important. Everything we see today and live in was formed around the gravity of blobs in the early universe. So it's good to know how big these were, to understand how we came out the way we are now. this blob formed 2 billion years after the Big Bang, which is early in our universe's 13.8 billion year life.

The discovery was made with the Subaru and Keck telescopes.