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BOSS: This Superstructure is the Largest Wall of Galaxies in the Universe to Date

Sep 12, 2016 04:07 AM EDT
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Astronomers of the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics have reportedly found the largest object in the universe -- though the word "largest" isn't enough to describe their discovery. Their latest find is called the BOSS, the largest supercluster of galaxies in the universe.

The BOSS Great Wall was named after the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey. This method maps galaxies and quasars in the early universe. The BOSS Great Wall is said to be made up of 830 separate galaxies, which gravity managed to combine into four superclusters. Massive filaments of hot gas hold them all together.

This supercluster of a structure is found 4.5 to 6.5 billion light-years away and has a mass of 10,000, which is larger than the Milky Way. The discovery of BOSS Great Wall has been published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.  

"On the grandest scales, the universe resembles a cosmic web of matter surrounding empty voids - and these walls are the thickest threads," states Joshua Sokol in a report by the New Scientist.

BOSS is reportedly two-thirds bigger than Sloan Great Wall, the previous record holder for the largest structure in the universe. Sloan was discovered back in 2003. In addition, BOSS trumps over two other superstructures namely the CfA2 Wall of 1989 and the Laniakea supercluster.

Despite the study and research that has gone into the discovery of the BOSS Great Wall, not everyone is convinced of its greatness. Allison Coil of the University of California questions the "size" of the superstructure.

"I don't entirely understand why they are connecting all of these features together to call them a single structure. There are clearly kinks and bends in this structure that don't exist, for example, in the Sloan Great Wall," stated Coil.

Research on BOSS Great Wall continues to prove it indeed could be the largest object in the universe.

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