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Letters to Nature
Nature 343, 726 - 728 (22 February 1990); doi:10.1038/343726a0

Large-scale distribution of galaxies at the Galactic poles

T. J. Broadhurst*, R. S. Ellis*, D. C. Koo & A. S. Szalay§

* Physics Department, University of Durham, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
Mathematics Department, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London El 4NS, UK
University of California Observatories, Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA
§ Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA
Department of Physics, Eötvös University, Budapest H-1083, Hungary

GALAXIES, mapped in two or three dimensions, are not distributed randomly but are clustered on small scales (<5 h−1 Mpc, where h 0.5–1 is Hubble's constant in units of 100 km s−1Mpc−1), for reasons conventionally ascribed to the effects of gravity. Whether galaxies remain correlated on very large scales (~ 50–100 h −1 Mpc) is of particular interest, because such structures are unexpected in most cosmological theories. We have combined data from four distinct surveys at the north and south Galactic poles to produce a well sampled distribution of galaxies by redshift on a linear scale extending to 2,000h −1 Mpc. Here we report our finding of an excess correlation and an apparent regularity in the galaxy distribution with a characteristic scale of 128 h −1 Mpc. This structure is revealed only after the completion of recent surveys extending to redshift z > 0.2. Similarly deep surveys with greater angular spread are needed to verify our results and to determine the implications for cosmology.

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