Mirror, mirror, on the Wall, what is the biggest frigging thing and the second most beautiful after women in the Universe of them all?
WATSON: "Tell me, Holmes, if we could step back from it all, wot ... would the Universe look like?"
SHERLOCK HOLMES: "It's filamentary, my dear Watson."
In physical cosmology, galaxy filaments, also called supercluster complexes or great walls, are, so far, the largest known cosmic structures in the universe. They are massive, thread-like structures with a typical length of 50 to 80 megaparsecs h-1 that form the boundaries between large voids in the universe. Filaments consist of gravitationally-bound galaxies; parts where a large number of galaxies are very close to each other are called superclusters.
Discoveries of superclusters started in the 1980s. In 1987 astronomer R. Brent Tully of the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy identified what he called thePisces-Cetus Supercluster Complex. In 1989 the CfA2 Great Wall was discovered, followed by the Sloan Great Wall in 2003.
In 2006, scientists announced the discovery of three filaments aligned to form the largest structure known to humanity, composed of densely-packed galaxies and enormous blobs of gas known as Lyman alpha blobs.
In 2011 further study was conducted by undergraduate students at Monash University in Australia that amounted to several hypotheses for the nature of filaments. One student, Amelia Fraser-McKelvie, confirmed through X-ray analysis that filaments contain an amount of mass large enough to contend with the theory of dark matter.Supervising Monash astrophysicist Dr. Kevin Pimbblet's earlier work had suggested the filaments as a possible location for the "missing" matter, thought to be low in density but high in temperature.
Filament subtype of filaments have roughly similar major and minor axes in cross-section, along the lengthwise axis.
|Coma Filament||The Coma Supercluster lies within the Coma Filament. It forms part of the CfA2 Great Wall.|
|Perseus-Pegasus Filament||1985||Connected to the Pisces-Cetus Supercluster, with the Perseus-Pisces Supercluster being a member of the filament.|
|Ursa Major Filament||Connected to the CfA Homunculus, a portion of the filament forms a portion of the "leg" of the Homunculus.|
|Lynx-Ursa Major Filament (LUM Filament)||1999||from 2000 km/s to 8000 km/s inredshift space||Connected to and separate from the Lynx-Ursa Major Supercluster.|
|z=2.38 filament around protocluster ClG J2143-4423||2004||z=2.38||110Mpc||A filament the length of the Great Wall was discovered in 2004. As of 2008, it was still the largest structure beyond redshift 2.|
The Galaxy wall subtype of filaments have a significantly greater major axis than minor axis in cross-section, along the lengthwise axis.
|CfA2 Great Wall (Coma Wall, Great Wall, Northern Great Wall, Great Northern Wall, CfA Great Wall)||1989||z=0.03058||251Mpc long||This was the first super-large large-scale structure or pseudo-structure in the universe to be discovered. It is also the second largest. The CfA Homunculus lies at the heart of the Great Wall, and the Coma Supercluster forms most of the homunculus structure. TheComa Cluster lies at the core.|
|Sloan Great Wall (SDSS Great Wall)||2005||z=0.07804||433Mpc long||This is the largest known structure or pseudo-structure in the universe discovered so far.|
|Sculptor Wall (Southern Great Wall, Great Southern Wall, Southern Wall)||8000 km/s long|
5000 km/s wide
1000 km/s deep
(in redshift spacedimensions)
|The Sculptor Wall is "parallel" to the Fornax Wall and "perpendicular" to the Grus Wall.|
|Grus Wall||The Grus Wall is "perpendicular" to the Fornax and Sculptor Walls.|
|Fornax Wall||The Fornax Cluster is part of this wall. The wall is "parallel" to the Sculptor Wall and "perpendicular" to the Grus Wall.|
- A Centaurus Wall or Centaurus Great Wall has been proposed, and would have the Fornax Wall as a portion of it, visually created by the Zone of Avoidance. It would also include the Centaurus Supercluster and the Local Supercluster, (this would then be the Local Wall or Local Great Wall) 
- A wall has been proposed to be the physical embodiment of the Great Attractor, with the Norma Cluster as part of this wall. This wall is also referred to as the Great Attractor Wall or Norma Wall.
- A wall has been proposed, in 2000, to lie at z=1.47 in the vicinity of radio galaxy B3 0003+387.
- A wall has been proposed, in 2000, to lie at z=0.559 in the northern Hubble Deep Field (HDF North).
Map of nearest galaxy walls
Maps of large scale distribution
- Galaxy clusters
- Galaxy superclusters
- List of galaxy clusters
- List of galaxies
- List of galaxy superclusters
- Large-scale structure of the universe
- Void (astronomy)
- ^ Bharadwaj, Somnath; Bhavsar, Suketu; Sheth, Jatush V. The Size of the Longest Filaments in the Universe. Astrophys.J. 606 (2004) 25-31
- ^ M. J. Geller & J. P. Huchra, Science 246, 897 (1989).
- ^ Sky and Telescope, "Refining the Cosmic Recipe", 14 November 2003
- ^ Than, Ker (2006-07-28). "Scientists: Cosmic blob biggest thing in universe". SPACE.com. Retrieved 2007-03-11.
- ^ Monash student helps solve cosmic mystery of massive dimensions Sarah-Jane Collins, May 27, 2011
- ^ 'Astronomy and Astrophysics' (ISSN 0004-6361), vol. 138, no. 1, Sept. 1984, p. 85-92. Research supported by Cornell University"The Coma/A 1367 filament of galaxies" 09/1984Bibcode: 1984A&A...138...85F
- ^ THE ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL, 115:1745-1777, 1998 May ;THE STAR FORMATION PROPERTIES OF DISK GALAXIES: Hα IMAGING OF GALAXIES IN THE COMA SUPERCLUSTER
- ^ 'Astrophysical Journal', Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 299, Dec. 1, 1985, p. 5-14. "A possible 300 megaparsec filament of clusters of galaxies in Perseus-Pegasus" 12/1985Bibcode: 1985ApJ...299....5B
- ^ a b 'The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series', Volume 121, Issue 2, pp. 445-472. "Photometric Properties of Kiso Ultraviolet-Excess Galaxies in the Lynx-Ursa Major Region" 04/1999Bibcode: 1999ApJS..121..445T
- ^ NASA, GIANT GALAXY STRING DEFIES MODELS OF HOW UNIVERSE EVOLVED, January 7, 2004
- ^ 'The Astrophysical Journal', Volume 602, Issue 2, pp. 545-554.The Distribution of Lyα-Emitting Galaxies at z=2.38 02/2004Bibcode: 2004ApJ...602..545P doi:10.1086/381145
- ^ 'The Astrophysical Journal', Volume 614, Issue 1, pp. 75-83. The Distribution of Lyα-emitting Galaxies at z=2.38. II. Spectroscopy10/2004 Bibcode: 2004ApJ...614...75F doi:10.1086/423417
- ^ 'Relativistic Astrophysics Legacy and Cosmology - Einstein's, ESO Astrophysics Symposia', Volume . ISBN 978-3-540-74712-3. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2008, p. 358 Ultraviolet-Bright, High-Redshift ULIRGS 00/2008 Bibcode: 2008ralc.conf..358W
- ^ a b Chin. J. Astron. Astrophys. Vol. 6 (2006), No. 1, 35–42 PDF
- ^ 'Scientific American', Vol. 280, No. 6, p. 30 - 37 PDF (1.43 MB) 06/1999 Bibcode: 1999SciAm.280f..30L
- ^ a b c Unveiling large-scale structures behind the Milky Way. Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series, Vol. 67; Proceedings of a workshop at the Observatoire de Paris-Meudon; 18–21 January 1994; San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP); c1994; edited by Chantal Balkowski and R. C. Kraan-Korteweg, p.21 ; Visualization of Nearby Large-Scale Structures ; Fairall, A. P., Paverd, W. R., & Ashley, R. P. ; 1994ASPC...67...21F
- ^ a b c d 'Astrophysics and Space Science', Volume 230, Issue 1-2, pp. 225-235 Large-Scale Structures in the Distribution of Galaxies 08/1995 Bibcode: 1995Ap&SS.230..225F
- ^ World Science, Wall of galaxies tugs on ours, astronomers findApril 19, 2006
- ^ 'The Astronomical Journal', Volume 120, Issue 5, pp. 2331-2337.B3 0003+387: AGN-Marked Large-Scale Structure at Redshift 1.47? 11/2000 Bibcode: 2000AJ....120.2331Tdoi:10.1086/316827
- ^ FermiLab, Astronomers Find Wall of Galaxies Traversing the Hubble Deep Field, DARPA, Monday, January 24, 2000
- ^ 'The Astronomical Journal', Volume 119, Issue 6, pp. 2571-2582 ;QSOS and Absorption-Line Systems surrounding the Hubble Deep Field ; 06/2000 ; doi:10.1086/301404 ;Bibcode: 2000AJ....119.2571V ;
- arXiv, PDF, Kevin A. Pimbblet, 14 March 2005
- Pictures of the filamentary network
- Astronomical Institute / Utrecht University - Astronomy Answers - Universe Family Tree: Filament (Dr Louis Strous)
- Astronomical Institute / Utrecht University - Astronomy Answers - From the Astronomical Dictionary - filament (Dr Louis Strous)
- The Universe Within One Billion Light Years with List of Nearby Superclusters (from the Atlas of the Universe):
Physical cosmology Universe · Big Bang
Age of the universe
Timeline of the Big Bang
Ultimate fate of the universe