Cosmic voids are vast spaces between filaments, which contain very few or no galaxies. The cosmological evolution of the void regions differs drastically from the evolution of the Universe as a whole: there is a long stage when the curvature term dominates, which prevents the formation of galaxy clusters and massive galaxies. Hence, although even the emptiest regions of voids contain more than ~15% of the average matter density of the Universe, the voids look almost empty for an observer. Voids typically have a diameter of 10 to 100 megaparsecs ; particularly large voids, defined by the absence of rich superclusters, are sometimes called supervoids. They were first discovered in 1978 in a pioneering study by Stephen Gregory and Laird A. Thompson at the Kitt Peak National Observatory.