Photo credit: Alder Planetarium/NASA
Astronomers have discovered a massive celestial structure comprised of galaxies over 1.4 billion light-years long and 600-million light years deep in the skies over the South Pole. It’s officially been named the South Pole Wall, and located along the southern border of the cosmos from the perspective of Earth, consisting of thousands of galaxies, hydrogen gas, dust as well as dark matter. Read more for a video on galactic walls and additional information.
This means that the galactic wall is also one of the largest known structures in the universe. It’s half the distance, or 500-million light years, from the Earth to the Hercules Corona-Borealis Great Wall and was concealed by the brightness of the Milky Way in an area called the Zone of Avoidance. Scientists found the celestial structure when they saw galaxies in different directions around it were affected by its gravitational pull.
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When our visualizations indicated something going on at the celestial South Pole, we were surprised. Indeed, there were no reports of a large scale structure in this region,” said Paris-Saclay University in France cosmographer Daniel Pomarède.