The Size of the Longest Filaments in the Universe
Abstract
We analyze the filamentarity in the Las Campanas redshift survey (LCRS) and determine the length scale at which filaments are statistically significant. The largest length scale at which filaments are statistically significant, real objects is between 70 and 80 h^{1} Mpc for the LCRS 3° slice. Filamentary features longer than 80 h^{1} Mpc, although identified, are not statistically significant; they arise from chance alignments. For the five other LCRS slices, filaments of lengths 5070 h^{1} Mpc are statistically significant, but not beyond. These results indicate that while individual filaments up to 80 h^{1} Mpc are statistically significant, the impression of structure on larger scales is a visual effect. On scales larger than 80 h^{1} Mpc, the filaments interconnect by statistical chance to form the filamentvoid network. The reality of the 80 h^{1} Mpc features in the 3° slice makes them the longest coherent features in the LCRS. While filaments are a natural outcome of gravitational instability, any numerical model that attempts to describe the formation of largescale structure in the universe must produce coherent structures on scales that match these observations.
 Publication:

The Astrophysical Journal
 Pub Date:
 May 2004
 DOI:
 10.1086/382140
 arXiv:
 arXiv:astroph/0311342
 Bibcode:
 2004ApJ...606...25B
 Keywords:

 Cosmology: Theory;
 Galaxies: Statistics;
 Cosmology: LargeScale Structure of Universe;
 Methods: Numerical;
 Astrophysics
 EPrint:
 16 preprint pages, 4 figures, Replaced with accepted version in ApJ. Improved discussion and added references