Giant rings in deep space leave scientists scratching their heads

Large ring galaxies are 1.3 billion light-years in diameter.

In the vast expanse of the universe, a massive structure challenges our understanding of the evolution of the universe. Astronomers have uncovered a massive, nearly flawless ring of galaxies, 1.3 billion light-years in diameter, which they discovered by studying light that took 6.9 billion years to reach us. according to Science AlertThis unprecedented discovery, dubbed the Big Ring, does not match any known structure or formation mechanism, and challenges the traditional understanding of cosmic formations, leaving astronomers scratching their heads.

The discovery, led by astronomer Alexia Lopez of the University of Central Lancashire, was presented at the 243rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in January. A pre-print version is also available Available on archive.

The detection of the large ring comes on the heels of the giant Sagittarius, a previous discovery by Ms. Lopez and her team located in the same celestial region and at a similar distance. The strange alignment and enormous scale of these structures deepens the cosmic mystery.

“Neither of these two supermassive structures is easy to explain in our current understanding of the universe. Their very large sizes, distinct shapes, and cosmic proximity certainly tell us something important – but what exactly?” Ms. Lopez said.

One possible link lies with baryon acoustic oscillations (BAOs), which are giant circular formations of galaxies scattered across space. These are remnants of sound waves that spread across the early universe. But unlike BAOs, which maintain a constant diameter of about a billion light-years, the large ring takes on a spiral shape, defying classification.

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The puzzling question remains: What exactly is the Big Ring, and what are the implications of the cosmological principle, which assumes symmetry across cosmic patches?

“We expect matter to be evenly distributed everywhere in space when we look at the universe on a large scale, so there should not be any noticeable irregularities above a certain size,” Ms. Lopez explained. “Cosmologists calculate the current theoretical maximum for the structures is 1.2 billion light-years, yet both of these structures are much larger – the giant arc is approximately three times larger and the circumference of the large ring is similar to the length of the giant arc.” He said as well.

Nowadays, the mysterious nature of these massive formations has left astronomers scrambling for answers. While coincidence remains a possibility, the search for additional cosmic mysteries similar to the Big Ring offers a glimmer of hope in uncovering the secrets of the universe hidden in the depths of space.

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