In space-based games like Mass Effect or Starfield, we often see planets and galaxies placed in shapes that appear similar to an orderly megastructure. However, reality shows that the randomness of the universe never shapes these types of dispositions. Or at least, that’s what we believed until now.
Student Alexia López from the University of Lancashire, who also discovered another similar megastructure in 2021 called the Great Arch, has now found another equally surprising formation very close by – a formation of galaxies connected with a diameter of 1.3 billion light years forming a large ring.
Called the Great Ring for its circular shape, the structure located 9 billion light years from Earth breaks with what cosmology had taken for granted until now. It demonstrates that matter in the universe is not always distributed on a large scale in a uniform manner, forcing the formulation of certain theories to explain the phenomenon.
López’s team has more earthly theories that could answer the question of an orderly megastructure in the universe. The most supported theory ties us to what science calls cosmic strings.
According to cosmic string theory, space would be connected by invisible threads that connect everything through filaments of hydrogen and dark matter, from planets and stars to galaxies. It would serve as a structure to the universe, allowing the necessary malleability so that it can stretch and tangle, affecting space and time.
Their origin would be in the cracks that formed in the universe after the expansion caused by the Big Bang explosion, which would have remained there as holes in which the stellar bodies fit.