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The Great Wall of Hercules: The Largest Known Structure in the Observable Universe



(Planet Today) The Hercules–Corona Borealis Great Wall or simply the Great Wall is the largest known structure in the observable universe, measuring approximately 10 billion light-years in length (the observable universe is about 93 billion light-years in diameter).

The structure was discovered in November 2013 by a US-Hungarian team of astronomers.

The Great Wall of Hercules is a giant “thread” that includes galaxy clusters connected by gravity. Clusters, in turn, are made up of “galactic families” linked by gravitational bonds.

The great wall of Hercules has absorbed billions of galaxies, quintillions of stars and even more planets. And if there are so many planets, it’s hard to even imagine how many other life there can be.

“The Her-CrB GW is larger than the theoretical upper limit on how big universal structures can be,” Dr. Jon Hakkila, an astrophysics professor at the College of Charleston in South Carolina and one of the astronomers who discovered the structure, told The Huffington Post in an email. “Thus, it is a conundrum: it shouldn’t exist but apparently does.”

Mysteries just like this are why astronomers scan the skies for a glimpse into the past, as they shed light not only on the early years of our universe, but also more about our galaxy, our solar system, and ultimately, ourselves.

The length of the Great Wall of Hercules exceeds any theoretical maximum, so for a long time many astronomers believed that this structure is the product of systematic errors made in data processing.

Artist’s conception based on an axonometric view of the inferred superstructure Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall.

However, by 2020, after analyzing a new and larger data set, several independent teams of researchers still confirmed the existence of a supermassive structure.

Because astronomers are still mapping the sky, there just may be something even grander than the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall in our universe.

“The danger of finding the biggest, or most distant, or the oldest things in the universe is always that sooner or later someone is likely to come along and find something bigger, more distant, or older than the thing you found,” Hakkila said. “So far we have not been upstaged, but it has only been about six months since we published.”

Earth is big to us, about 24,901 miles (40,075 kilometers) in circumference at the equator. But based on the cosmic scheme of things, Earth is tiny. Even in our own solar system, we are easily dwarfed by the planet Jupiter (which could fit more than 1,300 Earths inside) and our sun (which could fit more than a million Earths inside of it).

Feast your eyes on the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall measuring around 10 billion light-years across. How big is that exactly? In miles that’s a six followed by like 22 zeros. And if you’re going at the speed of light, it would take you 10 billion years to get from one end to the other.

You see, this ‘great wall’ is so massively ginormous that it shouldn’t even exist, given the age of the universe. Astronomers just can’t wrap their heads around the idea that an object that formed only a few billion years after the Big Bang could have grown so big.

The European Space Agency THESUS space telescope, which is scheduled to launch in 2032, will try to explain the nature of such a large structure. The device will study gamma-ray bursts, X-rays, star formation, the evolution of metallicity (the appearance of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium as a result of the evolution of stars) and reionization (the period in the history of the Universe between 550 and 800 million years after the Big Bang), which will significantly expand our knowledge of the young space.

It is worth noting that the Great Wall of Hercules is not the only supermassive structure in the universe. For example, scientists know about the existence of the Huge Group of Quasars, stretching for four billion light years and about the Great Wall of Sloan, 1.37 billion light years long.

Our Universe seems to be striving for a comprehensive unification, which is probably the next stage in its development.

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Alien space debris stuck in Earth’s orbit, researchers say




Recently, a group of experts from Harvard University, led by physics
professor Avi Loeb, announced the possible presence of alien space
debris in Earth’s orbit, reports the Daily Star.

space research expert Professor Loeb is confident that the discovery of
such “interstellar objects could help expand our knowledge of possible
alien civilizations and technologies. A team of scientists is conducting
research to confirm that some of the objects in our orbit may be
connected to other star systems.

During an interview with Live
Science, Professor Loeb explained that these objects could enter the
solar system from interstellar space, defying Jupiter’s gravitational
pull and occupying limited orbits around the sun.

Some of them may
have technological origins similar to the probes sent by mankind into
interstellar space, such as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, Pioneer 10 and 11
and New Horizons.

despite these interesting assumptions, Professor Loeb did not specify
what specific objects he was talking about. In his research report, he
notes that there could be “a significant number” of potentially
detectable objects in Earth’s orbit.

To confirm their assumptions,
the team of scientists uses computer simulations and the Vera Rubin
Observatory (Chile) with a high-resolution camera of 3.2 billion pixels.
This will allow for regular observations of the Southern sky and the
possibility of detecting several captured objects about the size of a
football field.

It is assumed that these interstellar objects passed through the
boundaries of the solar system and may carry unique information about
other civilizations and their technologies. If we could confirm the
origin of these objects, the mysteries that open before us, this would
be a real breakthrough in space exploration.

Professor Loeb
expresses hope that the new research will not only help expand our
knowledge of extraterrestrial technologies, but may also lead to the
discovery of new alien civilizations . Answers to such questions can be
of global significance and influence our understanding of the place of
mankind in the Universe.

while there are still many questions and assumptions, the study by
Professor Loeb and his team opens a new chapter in space exploration.
Each new discovery can be the key to deciphering the mysteries of the
cosmos and the possibility of encountering alien life forms.

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Betelgeuse is acting strange again




Betelgeuse, a red giant on the brink of death, continues to show
unusual behavior. After the Great Blackout, which occurred in late 2019
and early 2020, the star became unusually bright. It is now the seventh
brightest star in the sky, while it normally ranks tenth. This has led
to speculation that Betelgeuse is preparing to explode in a
spectacularly large supernova.

However, scientists believe it’s too early to tell, and it’s likely
that this behavior is due to ongoing fluctuations after the Great
Blackout of 2019, and the star will return to normal within a decade.

Betelgeuse is one of the most interesting stars in the sky. It is
about 700 light-years from Earth and is a red giant in the last stage of
its life. It is also an unusual star for a red giant because it was
previously a monster blue-white O-type star, the most massive class of

Betelgeuse has changed its spectral type because it has almost
exhausted its hydrogen reserves. It now burns helium into carbon and
oxygen and has expanded to a gigantic size: about 764 times the size of
the Sun and about 16.5 to 19 times its mass.

Eventually it will run out of fuel to burn, become a supernova, eject
its outer material, and its core will collapse into a neutron star.

Before the Great Blackout, Betelgeuse also had periodic fluctuations
in brightness. The longest of these cycles is about 5.9 years and the
other is 400 days. But it seems that the Great Blackout caused changes
in these oscillations.

A new paper by astrophysicist Morgan McLeod of the
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has shown that the 400-day
cycle appears to have been halved. This pulsational cycle is probably
caused by expansion and contraction within the star. According to
simulations carried out by MacLeod and his colleagues, the convective
flow inside Betelgeuse may have risen and become material that separates
from the star.

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