Void (astronomy)

Void (astronomy)
The universe within 1 billion light-years (307 Mpc) of Earth, showing local superclusters and voids
The Universe within 500 million Light Years, showing the nearest galaxy filaments

In astronomy, voids are the empty spaces between filaments, the largest-scale structures in the Universe, that contain very few, or no, galaxies. They were first discovered in 1978 during a pioneering study by Stephen Gregory and Laird A. Thompson at the Kitt Peak National Observatory.[1] Voids typically have a diameter of 11 to 150 megaparsecs; particularly large voids, defined by the absence of rich superclusters, are sometimes called "supervoids". Voids located in high-density environments are smaller than voids situated in low-density spaces of the universe.[2]

Voids were formed by baryon acoustic oscillations in the Big Bang by collapses of mass followed by implosions of the compressed baryonic matter. The shells of the voids are the remnants of shock fronts left by this process. The decoupling of matter from radiation when the universe became transparent "froze" the voids and shock fronts in place.[citation needed]

See also

  • List of voids
  • List of superclusters
  • Large-scale structure of the universe


  1. ^ Freedman, R.A., & Kaufmann III, W.J. (2008). Stars and galaxies: Universe. New York City: W.H. Freeman and Company.
  2. ^ U. Lindner, J. Einasto, M. Einasto, W. Freudling, K. Fricke, E. Tago (1995). The Structure of Supervoids I: Void Hierarchy in the Northern Local Supervoid "The structure of supervoids. I. Void hierarchy in the Northern Local Supervoid". Astron. Astrophys. 301: 329. arXiv:astro-ph/9503044. Bibcode 1995A&A...301..329L. http://www.uni-sw.gwdg.de/research/preprints/1995/pr1995_14.html/ The Structure of Supervoids I: Void Hierarchy in the Northern Local Supervoid. 

External links

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