New Research Supports the Idea That We Live in a Void
New research firms up the idea that we exist in one of the voids
in the structure of the cosmos and helps ease the apparent disagreement
between different measurements of the Hubble Constant.
Cosmologically speaking, the Milky Way and its immediate neighborhood are in the boondocks.
In a 2013 observational study, University of Wisconsin–Madison
astronomer Amy Barger and her then-student Ryan Keenan showed that our
galaxy, in the context of the large-scale structure of the universe,
resides in an enormous void — a region of space containing far fewer
galaxies, stars and planets than expected.
Now, a new study by a UW–Madison undergraduate, also a student of
Barger’s, not only firms up the idea that we exist in one of the holes
of the Swiss cheese structure of the cosmos, but helps ease the apparent
disagreement or tension between different measurements of the Hubble
Constant, the unit cosmologists use to describe the rate at which the
universe is expanding today.
Results from the new study were presented here today (June 6, 2017) at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
The universe as simulated by the Millennium Simulation is structured
like Swiss cheese in filaments and voids. The Milky Way, according to
UW–Madison astronomers, exists in one of the holes or voids of the
large-scale structure of the cosmos.
Credit: MILLENNIUM SIMULATION PROJECT