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The first ever largest map of the large-scale structure of the universe has been made by the scientists. The map is based on the positions of quasars, that are immensely bright and distant points of light purely powered by gigantic black holes. “Because quasars are so bright, we can see them all the way across the universe,” said Ashley Ross of the Ohio State University in the US.

“That makes them the ideal objects to use to make the biggest map yet,” Ross said. The Quasars have a gigantic black hole at their center which offers them incredible brightness. When any sort of matter or energy falls into a quasar’s black hole, it gets heated up to a high temperature and thus begins to glow. This glow can be captured by a 2.5-meter telescope on the Earth.

“These quasars are so far away that their light left them when the universe was between three and seven billion years old, long before the Earth even existed,” said Gongbo Zhao from the National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences. To make this first-ever map the scientists used the Sloan Foundation Telescope to observe the vast number of quasars.

In the first two years of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s Extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS), astronomers calculated around 147,000 quasars with accurate three-dimensional positions. This allowed the astronomers to calculate the exact distance between the quasars which was further used to make a three-dimensional map with exact quasar location.

However, to proceed in their process of making this incredible map the astronomers have to use another incredible technique, “baryon acoustic oscillations” (BAOs). “baryon acoustic oscillations” (BAOs) are present day imprint of sound waves that travelled through the universe at the time when it used to be denser and hotter than the universe we see today.

But, as soon as the universe became 380,000 years old, the conditions took a sudden change and all such sound waves froze in their place. These frozen waves offer us the three-dimensional structure in the Universe that we see today.

The research also confirms the standard model of cosmology that is studied by researchers these days. The standard model follows the fundamentals of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, however, it also includes many effects that are caused time to time but the reason for the same aren’t known.

 

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