Gargantuan chunk of ‘cosmic web’ discovered. It’s 50 million light-years long.

Gargantuan chunk of ‘cosmic web’ discovered. It’s 50 million light-years long.

The map of our universe looks astonishingly like a road map of the United States. Big, bustling clusters of galaxies swell like brightly lit cities, while long, sparse highways of gas connect them in a giant molecular web. Beyond this web: dark, empty space. (Nowhere worth stopping for a selfie, anyway.)

Astronomers believe this cosmic web is a vestige of the early universe, when big clouds of gas grew denser and denser as their gravity drew more and more matter toward them. Today, these galaxy clusters are the largest known structures in the universe, each one containing hundreds or thousands of individual galaxies and billions of stars.

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