Boötes void


Boötes void

The Boötes void is a tremendously large, approximately spherically shaped nearly-empty region of space, devoid of galaxies. At nearly 250 million light-years in diameter, it is one of the largest known voids in the universe, and is referred to as a "supervoid". It was discovered in 1981 by Robert Kirshner, Augustus Oemler, Jr., Paul Schechter, and Stephen Shectman in a survey of galactic redshifts. It is located in the area of the constellation Boötes, for which it is named.

According to astronomer Greg Aldering, the scale of the void is such that "If the Milky Way had been in the center of the Boötes void, we wouldn't have known there were other galaxies until the 1960s." cite web
url = http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1511/is_n8_v16/ai_17253874
title = Filling the void - understanding the formation of the Bootes void in intergalactic space - Brief Article
accessdate = 2008-01-02
year = 1995
month = August
work = Discover magazine
]

Other astronomers also began to study this void and soon discovered some galaxies within the void. J. Moody, Robert Kirshner, G. MacAlpine, and S. Gregory discovered and published eight new galaxies in the void in 1987. cite web
url = http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1987ApJ...314L..33M
title = Emission-line galaxies in the Bootes void
accessdate = 2008-01-21
year = 1987
month = March
] M. Strauss and John Huchra announced the discovery of a further three galaxies in 1988, and Greg Aldering, G. Bothun, Robert P. Kirshner, and Ron Marzke announced the discovery of fifteen galaxies in 1989. More galaxies continued to be discovered, by 1997 a total of 60 Boötes void galaxies were known.

Theories

It has been theorized that the Boötes void was formed from the merger of smaller voids, much as soap bubbles coalesce to form larger bubbles. This theory would account for the small number of galaxies that exist in a rough tube shape through the middle of the void.

In fiction

* The Boötes void is mentioned in the serial novel "Accelerando" by Charles Stross.
* The Boötes void is mentioned in Martin Amis' novel "Night Train".
* The Boötes void is mentioned in Robert L. Forward's novel "Time Master".
* The Boötes void is mentioned in the novel "House of Suns" written by Alastair Reynolds.

ee also

* Void (astronomy)

External links

* [http://www.gradewinner.com/p/articles/mi_m1511/is_n8_v16/ai_17253874 "Discover" magazine article on the Boötes void]
* [http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/michael/blog/?p=69 "Accelerating Future" article on the Boötes void]

Footnotes

References

* Kirshner, R. P., Oemler, A., Schechter, P. L. & Shectman, S. A. "A million cubic megaparsec void in Boötes." Astrophysics Journal 248, L57-L60 (1981)


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