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No. 20: Mar-Apr 1982

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R. Kirshner and colleagues have discovered an immense void almost completely devoid of galaxies. Smaller voids have been found in other surveys of the heavens, but this one is too big to explain away in terms of random variations in galaxy distribution. Kirshner et al carefully measured galactic redshifts in three widely separated regions of the sky and found almost no galaxies in the redshift velocity interval 12,000 to 18,000 km/sec in all three areas. One interpretation of this huge gap is that the initial post-Big-Bang distribution of matter in the universe was unexpectedly lumpy. A further problem arising is that such a large void should show up as a blip in the 3K cosmic background radiation -- but it doesn't.

(Anonymous; "Deep Redshift Survey of Galaxies Suggests MillionMPC3 Void," Physics Today, 35:17, January 1982.)

Comment. A less popular possibility is that galaxy redshifts do not measure distance at all and that no void exists.

Reference. Cosmic voids are cataloged at AWB3 in Stars, Galaxies, Cosmos. For ordering information, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #20, MAR-APR 1982. 1982-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987