August 24, 2007

Hole in the Universe

Posted in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Education, Nature, News, Science, Universe at 8:40 am by deadlikeme

hole.jpgAstronomers of the University of Minnesota found a surprisingly big hole in the universe.

Holes or voids in the universe are not really news, but this one dwarfs them all. It measures nearly a billion light-years across (our galaxy, the Milky Way, is about 100,000 light-years in diameter).

Lawrence Rudnick, Shea Brown and Liliya Williams drew their conclusions by studying data from the NVSS (NRAO VLA Sky Survey). The region had previously been dubbed as the “WMAP cold spot”. WMAP is a satellite, launched by NASA in 2001 to measure the Cosmic Microwave Background. The cold spot was discovered in 2004.

Lawrence Rudnick:

Although our surprising results need independent confirmation, the slightly colder temperature of the CMB [cosmic microwave background] in this region appears to be caused by a huge hole devoid of nearly all matter roughly 6 to 10 billion light-years from Earth.

Visit the article for more,

or read Rudnick and Co’s Extragalactic Radio Sources and the WMAP Cold spot paper