The Atlantic

Are We Living in a Giant Cosmic Void?

A team of researchers says the Milky Way resides in one of the observable universe’s darkest regions, but some experts aren't so sure.
Source: JPL / NASA

Don’t panic. Cosmic voids are actually all around us.

Imagine an especially hole-y block of Swiss cheese, and you have a pretty good visual for the leading theory for the structure of the universe. Voids, vast expanses of nearly empty space, account for about 80 percent of the observable universe. The other stuff, like dust and stars and galaxies like the Milky Way, exists in thread-like filaments between these voids. As the universe expanded, gravity drew matter into clumps, leaving behind cavernous spheres. These empty regions, which can measure hundreds of millions of light years across, do contain some galaxies, but they’re dark caverns compared to

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