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Could cosmic megastructures be intruders from another world?

On a large scale the cosmos should be plain, but it’s not. Windows into other dimensions could explain mysterious objects billions of light years across

A GIANT hole in the web of galaxies that fills the cosmos. A colossal string of quasars billions of light years across. A ring made out of hugely energetic bursts of radiation that spans 6 per cent of the visible universe. As our observations of the cosmos come into ever sharper focus, astronomers are beginning to identify structures bigger than any seen before. There’s only one problem: none of them should be there.

Ever since Copernicus proposed his revolutionary idea that Earth’s place among the stars is nothing special, astronomers have regarded it as fundamental. The cosmological principle it has evolved into goes a step further, stating that nowhere in the universe is special. You’re allowed to have patches of individuality on the level of solar systems, galaxies and galaxy clusters, of course, but zoom out far enough and the universe should exhibit a drab homogeneity. No ...

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