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Large-scale distribution of galaxies at the Galactic poles

Abstract

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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Broadhurst, T., Ellis, R., Koo, D. et al. Large-scale distribution of galaxies at the Galactic poles. Nature 343, 726–728 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1038/343726a0

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