There's a Gaping Hole in Our Universe, Researchers Say

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Astronomers gazing out into the universe are scratching their heads about what's just not there.

University of Minnesota researchers say they've found a cosmic blank spot far bigger than what scientists ever imagined: a billion light years across. That's nearly six billion trillion miles of emptiness. They says it has no stray stars, no galaxies, no sucking black holes, not even mysterious dark matter.

One professor says it's hard to find the right words because "this is too much of a surprise."

An astronomer following up the work of the Minnesota team says all that emptiness could be a statistical "freak of nature."

The findings will be published in Astrophysical Journal.