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Astronomy: The huge Hoʻoleilana bubble is a billion light-years across

Astronomy: The huge Hoʻoleilana bubble is a billion light-years across

A research group in Hawaii has found an unimaginably massive structure of galaxies, which has been interpreted as remnants from the beginning of the universe. The group, led by astronomer Brent Tully of the University of Hawaii, gave the structure the Hawaiian name “Hoʻoleilana,” which means something like “send a gust of awakening.” The structure is therefore a giant bubble with a diameter of a billion light-years, almost far from Earth.


Researchers say this is the first individually identified baryonic acoustic oscillation (BAO), a type of structure dating back to the interaction between gravity and pressure a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang. These are the remnants of pressure waves in the hot plasma that filled the universe immediately after the Big Bang.

In the so-called BAO, the baryonic (“ordinary”) matter distributed within it fluctuated through the interaction of gravity and radiation pressure until the plasma cooled considerably about 380,000 years after the Big Bang. According to theories, what remained were massive bubble-like structures of the same size, with more galaxies forming at the edges with a greater density of matter in the billions of years that followed. Scientists believe that with Hoolana they discovered a concrete structure of this type for the first time. The bubble is much larger than the Laniakea supercluster of galaxies, which the same team discovered in 2014.

“We didn’t even look for it. The structure is so large that it extends to the edge of the examined part of the sky,” Tully says. Meanwhile, the Ho’oleilana is much clearer and larger than theories have suggested. This may have consequences for theories about the speed of the universe’s expansion. The scientific work has been published In The Astrophysical Journal. And just a few weeks ago, another research team in natural astronomy It explains this and how BAO can be used to measure distances in the universe. Finding and measuring it is particularly urgent, this group said. It seems that your wish was fulfilled especially quickly.


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