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The discovery of the Great Ring, a mysterious star cluster that challenges our understanding of the size of the universe

The discovery of the Great Ring, a mysterious star cluster that challenges our understanding of the size of the universe

Shaped structure Very large ringSo much so that its dimensions are difficult to explain by challenging the current understanding of the universe, it was discovered by a group of scientists led by a graduate student.

The structure known as Great ringformed by galaxies and galaxy clusters, is located 9.2 billion light years from Earth. The formation is 1.3 billion light-years in diameter and 4 billion light-years in circumference.

“If we could go out and see it directly, the diameter of the Great Ring would need about 15 full moons to cover it,” said the scientists from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in the UK, who made the sighting happen. In the current situation.

An image published by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in the United Kingdom of the very large (blue) ring discovered by doctoral student Alexia Lopez. The structure is located 9.2 billion light-years from Earth.

credit: University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Cosmic neighbors

The Great Ring is the second very large structure discovered by doctoral student Alexia Lopez, who also discovered it two years ago Giant bow in the sky.

Surprisingly, the Great Ring and the giant arc – which has a diameter of 3.3 billion light-years – are located in the same region. “Cosmic neighborhood”. They are both seen at the same distance, at the same cosmic time, and only 12 degrees apart in the sky.

“According to current cosmological theories, we did not think that structures of this size were possible. Perhaps we can expect a very large structure in our entire visible universe,” Lopez said. “However, the Great Ring and the Giant Arc are two massive and even cosmologically adjacent structures, and they very beautiful”.

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He continued: “Neither of these two super-massive structures is easy to explain in our current understanding of the universe.” “Their very large sizes, distinctive shapes, and cosmic proximity must certainly tell us something important,” he added, saying he did not know exactly what.

“One possibility is that the Great Ring is linked to… Baryon Acoustic Oscillations (BAO). BAOs arise from oscillations in the early universe and should appear, at least statistically, to be the same today Spherical shells in the arrangement of galaxies“, the scientist stated. “However, a detailed analysis of the Great Ring revealed that it is not really consistent with Bao's interpretation: the Great Ring is very large and not spherical.”

Alexia Lopez, PhD student at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), who discovered the Great Ring and the Giant Bow.

credit: University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Beyond understanding the universe

Lopez explained that other explanations that deviate from what is generally considered the standard understanding in cosmology may be necessary. One possibility could be the theory of conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC), proposed by 2020 Nobel Prize winner in Physics Roger Penrose. Rings in the universe could be a sign of CCC.

It is possible that there is another explanation, which is the effect of the passage of so-called “cosmic ropes”. Cosmic strings are Nematic “topological defects”. Large in size, which may have formed at the beginning of the universe.

Jim Peebles, another Nobel laureate, recently hypothesized that cosmic strings may play a role in the origin of some other properties in the large-scale distribution of galaxies.

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However, the Great Ring defies the cosmic principle, as the Giant Bow did before. If the great ring and the giant arc together form a larger structure, the challenge to the cosmic principle becomes even more urgent.

The University of Central Lancashire said in its statement that such large structures, They challenge the idea of ​​what an “average” area is. From outer space. They exceed the maximum size of what is considered theoretically viable and pose potential challenges to the cosmological principle.

“The cosmological principle posits that the part of the universe we can see is a 'faithful sample' of what we expect the rest of the universe to be like,” Lopez said. “We expect matter to be evenly distributed throughout space when we look at the universe on a large scale, so there should not be any noticeable irregularities above a certain size.”

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