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04 August 2015
Scientists Identify the Cosmos' Largest Feature
Astronomers have found a structure in the universe so huge, that current cosmological theory says it shouldn't exist.
A US-Hungarian team recently discovered a ring of nine gamma ray bursts, in nine distant galaxies, 5 billion light years across. For comparison, our galaxy is just a hundred thousand light-years across. This suggests that the ring is more than 5 billion light years across. According to Professor Lajos Balazs of Konkoly Observatory in Budapest, there is only a 1 in 20,000 probability the GRBs being are in this distribution by chance.
Modern astrophysical models suggest that the upper size limit for cosmic structures should be no more than 1.2 billion light-years. The newly discovered ring is almost five times as large. The structure also defies a widely accepted cosmological principle, which says that the universe would look uniform when observed at the largest scales. Astronomers may need to radically revise their theories of the evolution of the cosmos.