PROF. GEORGE EFSTATHIOU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PROF. GEORGE EFSTATHIOU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Galaxy distribution. Map showing the distribution of two million galaxies in a region of the sky near the south galactic pole. The map covers 4300 square degrees which is equivalent to 10% of the whole sky. The nearest galaxies are plotted in red and the most distant in blue; in this map the average distance of a galaxy from Earth is about 1500 million light years. Galaxies on this scale are not randomly distributed. They are grouped in thin sheets (turquoise-white) leaving large areas, with a diameter of about 150 million light years, almost devoid of galaxies. This structure may be compared to the interior of a sponge.
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