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The researchers have discovered the largest structure when they were trying to find out why 10,000 galaxies were missing from the portion of the sky being observed, in an astronomical survey.
The structure detected is dubbed as supervoid and distinctive for its emptiness.
István Szapudi of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, who is the lead author of the study, said it is “the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity.”
His research team was looking at the region that was previously found to be an area where cosmic microwave background radiation is much cooler than the average surrounding background temperatures, so the astronomers named it Cold Spot.
The existence of such large cold area was different with most models of the evolution of the universe after Big Bang, which allowed in the early days of the universe for some warmer and cooler regions to emerge, but there is nothing on the scale of Cold Spot.
The empty region detected may explain partly the reason for the very existence of Cold Spot.
Researchers suggest that the supervoid sucking energy out of the cosmic background radiation that travels across it.
Researchers explain that the supervoid associated with Cold Spot is not completely empty or vacuum, but it posses 20 percent less material than any typical region of the universe.
András Kovács of the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, and study coauthor said, “Supervoids are not entirely empty, they’re under-dense,”
The supervoid is detected by analyzing data from the Pan-STARRS1 telescope located on Maui in Hawaii and from NASA’s Wide Field Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite.
The supervoid is located 3 billion light years from Earth.
Researchers say that supervoid is unexpected as there is even distribution of universe at the scale the empty region occupies.
Kovács said, “This is the greatest supervoid ever discovered, in combination of size and emptiness, our supervoid is still a very rare event. We can only expect a few supervoids this big in the observable universe.”
Researchers said that the study suggests a link between supervoid and Cold Spot, but hasn’t completely proven it.
They say that the two phenomena positioned at the same place in the universe cannot be pure coincidence.
If they are linked, supervoid would only account for 10 percent of the temperature decrease in the Cold Spot.
Carlos Frenk, a cosmologist at the University of Durham in Great Britain says, “The void itself I’m not so unhappy about, it’s like the Everest of voids — there has to be one that’s bigger than the rest. But it doesn’t explain the whole Cold Spot, which we’re still in the dark about.”