Here’s just the latest reminder that the universe we live in is fucking huge.
At a staggering billion light years across, the BOSS is big. Really big. Ridiculously big.
But what is the BOSS you may ask? Well it’s a wall. A great wall, that makes other walls look like basically nothing. It’s made up of complex galaxy superclusters and comprises of more than 800 galaxies- weighing 10,000 times as much as the Milky Way.
Scientists working for the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey – the international galaxy-mapping effort of which the BOSS gets its name – say it may be the largest structure in the universe. Or at least, in the universe they’ve mapped out so far.
In a study published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, the scientists describe the BOSS Great Wall (BGW) as an enormous collection of galaxies which stretch to more than one billion lightyears across.
Lead author on the study, Heidi Lietzen of the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics told New Scientist: “It was so much bigger than anything else in this volume.”
However, because the BGW is so damn big, some scientists are questioning whether it can be really be considered all as one thing.
Allison Coil – an astrophysicist at the University of California – San Diego, told New Scientist:
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.
It’s hoped the discovery of the Boss Great Wall, however, will help reveal not just what the universe looks like, but how it’s evolved and how it continues to change.