This 50 million-year-old intergalactic filament is light, the longest we’ve ever seen

Optical imaging of the Abell 3391/95 system where scientists saw the longest filament ever seen. (Image credit: Reiprich et al., Astronomy & Astrophysics)

Long, long strands of hot gas called intergalactic filaments bind and orbit galaxies and galaxy assemblages throughout the cosmos – and scientists have just discovered the longest one yet.

intergalactic filaments form a cosmic web that extends beyond the visible universe. Within this structure, galaxies are arranged in a net-like pattern, connected by and surrounded by these filaments.