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  1. #1
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    Largest structure in the Universe

    Largest Structure in the Universe Discovered

    By FQtQ Contributor | January 13, 2013 |
    Astronomers recently discovered a group of active galactic cores that stretch more than 4 billion light-years end to end. The structure is a large quasar group (LQG). And it is simply massive.

    For comparison:



    The Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years across. Our closest neighboring galaxy (Andromeda) is some 2.5 million light-years distant, and it is more than twice the size of the Milky Way (about 260,000 light-years). Which means that this LQG could easily swallow Andromeda, the Milky Way, and all the space in between.


    Moreover, the Earth itself is a little more than 4 billion years old. So, in the time that it takes light to travel from one end of this structure to the other: the Earth formed and cooled, life developed, dinosaurs sprang into existence and were summarily obliterated, humanity evolved, civilization developed, and I typed this article whist drinking tea. In essence, the whole of Earths history is equal to the time that it takes photons to travel across this vast expanse.

    The Facts:



    Quasars tend to assemble in large groups, but the largest of these clusters are typically 600 million light-years wide. The newly discovered LQC is composed of 73 quasars and, at 4 billion light-years, it makes other LQCs look like nothing more than tiny cosmological blips.


    In fact, this LQG is so large that it could upend modern cosmological theory. This cluster seems to violate the widely accepted cosmological principle, which holds that the universe is essentially homogeneous when viewed at a sufficiently large scale. According to this principle, structures larger than about 1.2 billion light-years should not exist. Now, this does not mean that science has fallen apart. It simply means that there may be some things we dont fully grasp just yet (to anyone who truly understands science, this is nothing new).


    Study leader Roger Clowes, an astronomer at University of Central Lancashire, noted the problem posed by this LQG: It could mean that our mathematical description of the universe has been oversimplified, and that would represent a serious difficulty and a serious increase in complexity. Of course, scientists are still analyzing and trying to pin down the exact nature of this superstructure; only time can tell what impact this LQG will have on our understanding of the universe.
    But one is forced to ask, could something even larger be lurking in the cosmic void?



    If so, what does this mean about our understanding of the universe?


    Largest Structure in the Universe Discovered - From Quarks to Quasars

  2. #2
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    In other words we still have a lot to learn.

  3. #3
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    ^ But most scientifically oriented people would tend to disagree with you there Thorm. IMO anyway.

    I agree with you by the way. We are infants in just about all aspects of understanding but were getting there slowly but surely.

  4. #4
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    Just to put it into perspective, if you could travel at the speed of light it would take 4 billion years to travel from one side to the other, that's the same amount of time that the planet earth has been in existence, from birth as a planet, the cooling into a rocky planet, birth of life, evolution to an oxygen based planet, dinosaurs, humans etc.

  5. #5
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    If you want to be baffled and dazed by the universe watch the documentary "through the wormhole" narrated by Morgan Freeman.

    It goes a long way to explains things some of it quite radical.

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    Couple of points.

    Firstly: the word 'structure'. It isn't a structure in the sense we understand the word. The size of these quasars are accounted for by enormous plumes and swirls of gas, dust and particles influenced by the gravitational pull of the black hole somewhere in the middle.

    Secondly - why can't we see something so big? The plumes of gas and dust around a quasar are not usually visible to either the naked eye or an optical telescope. I would bet that the telescope used in this observation is a radio telescope.

  7. #7
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    The scale of the universe.

    An interesting cartoony graphic, takes a while to load up on android.


    The Scale of the Universe 2

  8. #8
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    I am amazed that there aren't more heads exploding in the scientific community.

    Thinking too mutt about that kind of galaxy shit is bad for the head.

    How many world famous Thai astronomers are pondering over this right now?

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    Incredible, but as sure as there is life out there, with our 'advanced' understanding of such LQGs and even universal law still primitive, in time we'll discover there are distant constructs that make this one seem tiny.

    Wasn't long ago that we were impressed by the size of Betelgeuse, which could encompass the Sun, Earth and its orbit. Soon it won't even merit a mention next to the real giants which in turn will probably seem like pebbles against new discoveries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    Just to put it into perspective, if you could travel at the speed of light it would take 4 billion years to travel from one side to the other, that's the same amount of time that the planet earth has been in existence, from birth as a planet, the cooling into a rocky planet, birth of life, evolution to an oxygen based planet, dinosaurs, humans etc.
    No, if you could travel at light speed it would take less than a second. The watch may have to sit for 4 billion years to see the travelers second pass. Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Ghost Of The Moog
    I would bet that the telescope used in this observation is a radio telescope.
    Or an Xray telescope.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    The scale of the universe.

    An interesting cartoony graphic, takes a while to load up on android.


    The Scale of the Universe 2

    https://teakdoor.com/the-teakdoor-lou...e-universe.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister View Post
    ]No, if you could travel at light speed it would take less than a second. The watch may have to sit for 4 billion years to see the travelers second pass. Jim
    erm, I think you dont quite understand this whole speed of light thing.

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    Isn't there a problem with these observations? Light doesn't travel in a straight line but is bent by gravitation, and the space has expanded, possible irregularly, and God knows what this did to the picture. All we can say is that the thing appears to be of this size and distance.

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    I thought this was going to be about a Chinese shopping mall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister View Post
    ]No, if you could travel at light speed it would take less than a second. The watch may have to sit for 4 billion years to see the travelers second pass. Jim
    erm, I think you dont quite understand this whole speed of light thing.
    Actually he's a bit closer than you Willy. He's talking about relativity. For an object accelerating towards the speed of light, time gets slower and slower for that object. If it could reach the speed of light (which it cant) - time would stop for it (but not for external observers).
    You, sir, are a God among men....
    Short Men, who aren't terribly bright....
    More like dwarves with learning disabilities....
    You are a God among Dwarves With Learning Disabilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbil
    Actually he's a bit closer than you Willy. He's talking about relativity.
    I know he's referring to relativity, that doesnt make light travel infinite distances instantaneously though.

  18. #18
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    ^ It is for the travelling object. Of course if the travelling object then slows down at the other end, it would discover that 4 billion years had passed.

  19. #19
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    whoops, you guys are right.

    This physics stuff makes my brain hurt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister View Post
    ]No, if you could travel at light speed it would take less than a second. The watch may have to sit for 4 billion years to see the travelers second pass. Jim
    erm, I think you dont quite understand this whole speed of light thing.
    Think I do, to a photon of light no time has passed since the big bang. The observer experiences the passing of time, not the traveler at light speed.
    Matter can not travel at light speed, because the faster a thing moves the more mass it has until it has the same mass as the whole universe at light speed. Jim

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly
    This physics stuff makes my brain hurt.
    You should listen to uncle withnall.

    Don't think too mutt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister View Post
    Think I do,
    Yes, which is why I posted a retraction above already, did you miss it, Sheldon?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister View Post
    Think I do,
    Yes, which is why I posted a retraction above already, did you miss it, Sheldon?
    inter net on a dongle in and out as fast as a fiddlers elbow. By the time a get a signal to post 5 or 6 other post will have been made, so sometimes what I post is well out of date by the time it gets out. Jim

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    Ooh.

    Gotchya!

    I'd better apologize again!

    :sheepish:

  25. #25
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    Largest.structure.in.the.universe.so.far.

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