Astronomy often focuses on where things are—stars, galaxies, clusters—rather than where they aren't. However, sometimes emptiness can teach scientists just as much. A spherical region of space 250 million light years in diameter, the Boötes void (pronounced boo-OH-tees) is the emptiest area of space in the known universe. In all that space, the void contains only 60 galaxies. For comparison, as io9 points out, our own galaxy has around two dozen galactic neighbors in a space of only 3 million light years. Given that the average distance between galaxies everywhere else in the universe is a few million light years, an expanse the size of the Boötes void should contain around 10,000 galaxies. It contains only 0.6% of that number.
The Boötes Void Is A Giant Hole In The Universe
Hear why scientists think it exists.
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Written by Curiosity Staff September 13, 2016
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