Giant rings and the threat to cosmology

Physics misunderstands the cosmological principle

The recent announcement about the observation of a giant ring structure in a distant part of the universe, was widely reported as putting into question some fundamental assumptions of cosmology. But Dominik Schwarz argues such interpretations depend on a misunderstanding of the cosmological principle.

 

At the recent American Astronomical Society meeting, an announcement was made about the discovery of a giant ring with a diameter of 1.3 billion light years. This follows a trend of similar claims in recent years about the discovery of larger and larger structures observed in the universe. The first difficult question to ask is of course, are these structures real or just chance patterns, like for example the constellation of Ursa Major. Our brains tend to fool us and we like to see patterns in any random assembly of points. If we can somehow convince ourselves of the reality of these, the second question to ask is, are th

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