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WASHINGTON: Astronomers have stumbled upon a tremendous hole in the universe. That has got them scratching their heads about what is just not there.

The cosmic blank spot has no stray stars, no galaxies, no sucking black holes, not even mysterious dark matter. It is 1 billion light years across of nothing. That is an expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of emptiness, a University of Minnesota team announced on Thursday.

Astronomers have known for many years that there are patches in the universe where nobody is home. In fact, one such place is practically a neighbour, a mere 2 million light years away.

But what the Minnesota team discovered, using two different types of astronomical observations, is a void that’s far bigger than scientists ever imagined. “This is 1,000 times the volume of what we sort of expected to see in terms of a typical void,” said Minnesota astronomy professor Lawrence Rudnick, author of the paper that will be published in Astrophysical Journal.

“It's not clear that we have the right word yet ... This is too much of a surprise.”

Rudnick was examining a sky survey from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which essentially takes radio pictures of a broad expanse of the universe.

But one area of the universe had radio pictures indicating there was up to 45% less matter in that region, Rudnick said.

The rest of the matter in the radio pictures can be explained as stars and other cosmic structures between here and the void, which is about 5 to 10 billion light years away.


These are nothing but tunnels, digged by aliens to travel between differnet universes at the speed which is much much faster than light (photon-speed) laugh.gif

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