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Milky Way Found to be In a Void

2017-06-09

 

Astronomers have discovered that the Milky Way Galaxy is sitting in a huge void, a relatively empty area of the Universe that is roughly a billion light years in radius.  This void, which has been christened the Keenan-Barger-Cowie (KBC) void, is apparently the largest empty area in the visible Universe.  The Milky Way is sitting in the middle of a huge empty spot instead of among the “normal” filaments of matter that make up the Swiss-cheese like consistency of the rest of the Universe.

This observation explains the discrepancy between measurements of the Hubble constant taken by observing “standard candle” stars locally and the measurement found in the Cosmic Wave Background.  Local “standard candles” are influenced by the unbalanced gravity of matter outside of the local void area, while the cosmic microwave background is not biased by the presence of the void.  This explanation for the discrepancy makes astronomers feel much better about their measurements of the Hubble constant.

All this is explained in a blog post on the wonderful blog The Universe Today (universetoday.com) entitled “At the Largest Scales, Our Milky Way Galaxy is in the Middle of Nowhere.”

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