Next Contents Previous

F. And finally ...

We have good reason to believe that our data samples are now good enough to unequivocally allow an unambiguous description of the clustering of galaxies in the Universe. This description is entirely consistent with the view of the Universe as a whole that has emerged from the theoretical and observational research of the 20th. century. There are many details to fill in and there is much left to understand. The details will come with future observational projects and the understanding will come with further exploitation of cross-disciplinary physics. It is the existence of scaling laws in the galaxy distribution that provides us with a ray of hope that it is possible to do more than merely models the growth of cosmic structure: we may be able to understand it.

Arguably the single greatest surprise is how relatively well even rather simple models appear to reproduce the hard-won data.


Bernard Jones and Enn Saar spent several weeks at the Valencia University Observatory, during which time large portions of this article were written. They want to thank for its kind hospitality as well as the facilities provided by the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. We are grateful to S. Paredes for providing us with some figures. Rien van de Weygaert made extensive comments on the manuscript for which we are most grateful. The editor, Julian Krolik, also provided much appreciated guidance. Thanks are due to all authors, editors and publishers who granted permission to us to include in this review previously published illustrations, images and figures. This work has been supported by Valencia University through a visiting professorship for Enn Saar, by the Spanish MCyT projects AYA2000-2045 and AYA2003-08739-C02-01 (including FEDER), by the Generalitat Valenciana ACyT project CTIDIB/2002/257 and GRUPOS03/170, and by the Estonian Science Foundation grant 4695.

Next Contents Previous