Boötes void

Boötes void

The Boötes void is a tremendously large, approximately spherically shaped nearly-empty region of space, devoid of galaxies. At nearly 250 million light-years in diameter, it is one of the largest known voids in the universe, and is referred to as a "supervoid". It was discovered in 1981 by Robert Kirshner, Augustus Oemler, Jr., Paul Schechter, and Stephen Shectman in a survey of galactic redshifts. It is located in the area of the constellation Boötes, for which it is named.

According to astronomer Greg Aldering, the scale of the void is such that "If the Milky Way had been in the center of the Boötes void, we wouldn't have known there were other galaxies until the 1960s." cite web
url =
title = Filling the void - understanding the formation of the Bootes void in intergalactic space - Brief Article
accessdate = 2008-01-02
year = 1995
month = August
work = Discover magazine

Other astronomers also began to study this void and soon discovered some galaxies within the void. J. Moody, Robert Kirshner, G. MacAlpine, and S. Gregory discovered and published eight new galaxies in the void in 1987. cite web
url =
title = Emission-line galaxies in the Bootes void
accessdate = 2008-01-21
year = 1987
month = March
] M. Strauss and John Huchra announced the discovery of a further three galaxies in 1988, and Greg Aldering, G. Bothun, Robert P. Kirshner, and Ron Marzke announced the discovery of fifteen galaxies in 1989. More galaxies continued to be discovered, by 1997 a total of 60 Boötes void galaxies were known.


It has been theorized that the Boötes void was formed from the merger of smaller voids, much as soap bubbles coalesce to form larger bubbles. This theory would account for the small number of galaxies that exist in a rough tube shape through the middle of the void.

In fiction

* The Boötes void is mentioned in the serial novel "Accelerando" by Charles Stross.
* The Boötes void is mentioned in Martin Amis' novel "Night Train".
* The Boötes void is mentioned in Robert L. Forward's novel "Time Master".
* The Boötes void is mentioned in the novel "House of Suns" written by Alastair Reynolds.

ee also

* Void (astronomy)

External links

* [ "Discover" magazine article on the Boötes void]
* [ "Accelerating Future" article on the Boötes void]



* Kirshner, R. P., Oemler, A., Schechter, P. L. & Shectman, S. A. "A million cubic megaparsec void in Boötes." Astrophysics Journal 248, L57-L60 (1981)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Boötes — This article is about the Northern constellation. For the astronomical observatory, see BOOTES. Boötes Constellation List of stars in Boötes Abbreviation Boo …   Wikipedia

  • Vacío de Boötes — Mapa del vacío de Boötes El vacío de Boötes o el Gran Vacío[1] es una gigantesca y cuasi esférica región del espacio, que contiene muy pocas galaxias. Se encuentra en las cercanías de la constelación de Boötes, de ahí su no …   Wikipedia Español

  • Large-scale structure of the cosmos — In physical cosmology, the term large scale structure refers to the characterization of observable distributions of matter and light on the largest scales (typically on the order of billions of light years). Sky surveys and mappings of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Vide du Bouvier — Carte du Vide du Bouvier Le Vide du Bouvier ou Grand Vide[1] est une région de l espace interstellaire de très grande taille mais contenant très peu de galaxies. Elle doit son nom à la constellation du Bouvier …   Wikipédia en Français

  • List of cosmologists — This is a list of people who have made noteworthy contributions to cosmology (the study of the history and large scale structure of the universe) and their cosmological achievements. This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. Contents …   Wikipedia

  • Liste de cosmologistes — La présente liste de cosmologistes regroupe des contributeurs notoires de la cosmologie, étude de l’histoire de l’Univers et des grandes structures de l’Univers, ainsi que de leurs conséquences cosmologiques[1]. Sommaire : Haut A B C D E F G …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Superamas de Shapley — Données d’observation (Époque J2000.0) Constellation Centaure Ascension droite (α) 13h 06,0m Déclinaison (δ) 33° 04′ …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Outline of astronomy — Mauna Kea in Hawaii is one of the world s premier observatory sites. Pictured is the W. M. Keck Observatory, an optical interferometer. The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to astronomy: Astronomy – studies the… …   Wikipedia

  • Parsec — For other uses, see Parsec (disambiguation). 1 parsec = SI units 30.857×10^12 km 30.857×10^15 m Astronomical units 206.26× …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of knowledge about galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and large-scale structure — Timeline of galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and large scale structure of the cosmosPre 20th Century* 400s BC Democritus proposes that the bright band in the night sky known as the Milky Way might consist of stars, * 300s BC Aristotle believes the …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”