A new series of advanced 3D maps of the known universe has revealed one of the biggest cosmic structures located in space. The wall-like construct has an impressive size of 1.4 billion light-years across, and it contains thousands of galaxies.
Classified under the name of South Pole Wall, the structure was hiding in plain sight, and it has managed to remain undetected in the past due the fact that large segments of it are located at more than 500 million light-years behind the Milky Way galaxy, which is quite bright.
The cosmic web
Previous research has suggested that galaxies aren’t spread across the universe in a chaotic way as they tend to gather into the cosmic web. The cosmic web contains huge strands of hydrogen, which ties galaxies together in massive strings that surround the massive void of space. These strings are also an important topic of cosmography, which tracks the positions of objects in the cosmos.
Older cosmographic work has revealed more details about other impressive objects that can be found in space, including the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall, which has a size of 10 billion light-years or almost 10% of the known universe.
Exploring the void
The team who uncovered the South Pole Wall is also the one which identified the Laniakea supercluster, a supermassive collection of galaxies that includes the Milky Way. Laniakea has a width of 520 million years and a mass of more than 100 million billion suns.
In the case of the latest discovery, the team relied on a series of sky surveys that targeted a region known as the Zone of Galactic Obscuration. Most of this zone is located behind the Milky Way, which is so bright that it obscures almost everything that can be found behind it.
It worth noting that the new information will allow astronomers to improve current cosmological models. A paper was published in a scientific journal.