Research over the past three decades has revolutionized the field of cosmology while supporting the standard cosmological model. However, the cosmological principle of Universal homogeneity and isotropy has always been in question, since structures as large as the survey size have always been found as the survey size has increased. Until now, the largest known structure in our Universe is the Sloan Great Wall (SGW), which is more than 400 Mpc long and located approximately one billion light-years away. Here we report the discovery of a structure at least six times larger than the Sloan Great Wall that is suggested by the distribution of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Gamma-ray bursts are the most energetic explosions in the Universe. They are associated with the stellar endpoints of massive stars and are found in and near distant galaxies. Therefore, they are very good indicators of the dense part of the Universe containing normal matter. As of July 2012, 283 GRB redshifts have been measured. If one subdivides this GRB sample into nine radial parts and compares the sky distributions of these subsamples (each containing 31 GRBs), one can observe that the fourth subsample (1.6 < z < 2.1) differs significantly from the others in that many of the GRBs are concentrated in the same angular area of the sky. Using the two-dimensional Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, the significance of this observation is found to be less than 0.05 per cent. Fourteen out of the 31 Gamma-Ray Bursts in this redshift band are concentrated in approximately 1/8 of the sky. The binomial probability to find such a deviation is p=0.0000055. This huge structure lies ten times farther away than the Sloan Great Wall, at a distance of approximately ten billion light-years. The size of the structure defined by these GRBs is about 2000-3000 Mpc, or more than six times the size of the largest known object (SGW) in the Universe.
- Pub Date:
- November 2013
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 7th Huntsville Gamma-Ray Burst Symposium, GRB 2013: paper 33 in eConf Proceedings C1304143