Saturday, April 25, 2009

Largest object in universe, a 'Lyman-Alpha blob', discovered

This is a mind-bending story. Scientists have discovered the largest "Lyman-Alpha blob" (a giant, glowing gas cloud) floating 12.9 billion light years away. (Space.com) Yes, that means this thing existed 12.9 billion years ago, when the universe was 800 million years old. And it's huge. The blob, named "Himiko" ("after an ancient Japanese queen with an equally murky past), is 55,000 light years across, or the size of 40 billion suns.

What is it? Scientists don't know. It could be a galaxy on the verge of forming, or it could be the ionized gas halo of a super-massive black hole.

5 comments:

Jim said...

Lyman alpha blob Himiko is the oldest most massive object known in the early universe 12.9 billion years ago. THe reionization epoch began 200 - 1 billion yrs after the big-bang, before superclusters and galaxies formed there were these huge objects. Recombination of electrons with ionized hydrogen atoms proves the universe is magnetic and the dark flow shouldn't be considered as a result of gravity pulling galaxy clusters along an axial singularity thats over 100 billion light years distance as Koshlinksky says.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.