Halo is REAL: Mysterious ‘ring’ in space is biggest object in the universe
Scientists have just found the biggest thing in the universe – a vast, mysterious ‘ring’ five billion light years across.
It’s so big that the researchers have no idea why it exists – and it contradicts all current models of the universe.
The vast, mysterious object is reminiscent of the Halo rings in the hit science fiction game series.
The ring of nine vast, cataclysmic explosions is about seven billion light years from Earth and covers an area of sky more than 70 times the diameter of the full moon.
Each of the gamma ray bursts (GRBs) releases as much energy in a few seconds as the Sun will do over its 10 billion-year lifetime.
GRBs, the most luminous events in the universe, are thought to be the result of massive stars collapsing into black holes.
It challenges current theories about the make-up of the universe, which sets a theoretical limit of 1.2 billion light years for the largest structures.
Professor Lajos Balazs, from the Konkoly Observatory in Budapest, Hungary, who led the observations, said: ‘If we are right, this structure contradicts the current models of the universe. It was a huge surprise to find something this big – and we still don’t quite understand how it came to exist at all.’
The team now wants to establish whether known processes of galaxy formation and large-scale structure could have led to the ring’s creation. If this proves not to be the case, astronomers will radically have to revise their theories about the evolution of the universe.