Galaxy (illustration).
Galaxy (illustration).iStock

Scientists have discovered a massive celestial structure beyond the Milky Way Galaxy in the skies over Earth's South Pole, according to a report published in the Astrophysical Journal.

The structure, which has been dubbed the 'South Pole Wall,' is made up of thousands of galaxies as well as hydrogen gas, space dust, and dark matter. It is 1.4 billion light-years long and 600 million light-years deep, making it one of the largest structures in the universe.

Similar 'wall' structures have been found across the universe before, including the Hercules Corona-Borealis Great Wall, which is the largest known structure at 10 billion light-years wide, and covers one tenth of the diameter of the visible universe.

The South Pole Wall is 500 million light-years from Earth, so close that it was previously obscured by the brightness of the Milky Way Galaxy in an area know as the 'Zone of Galactic Obscuration.' It was discovered by observing the gravitational effect on surrounding galaxies. It is the largest structure within a 650-million light-year radius of Earth, according to Vice and MIT Technology Review.

Daniel Pomarèd, a cosmographer at Paris-Saclay University in France, told Vice that the structure is shaped by a bow, and some of it may even be hidden beyond the boundary of the visible universe.