Indian Scientists Discover Supercluster of Galaxies

15 July, 2017, 09:56 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
  • Saraswati galaxy

A research team of Indian astronomers has identified a very big super cluster of galaxies, as large as 20 million billion suns, that they have named as Saraswati, as stated by Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) which is based in Pune on Thursday.

A team from the western city of Pune's Inter University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) has named the supercluster Saraswati and published its findings in the latest issue of The Astrophysical Journal, an global publication. Almost 10 billion years old, Saraswati is estimated to be stretched over 650 million light years in distance, and is located in the direction of the constellation Pieces. The Saraswati is located four billion light years from the Milky Way galaxy. The total mass of this behemoth cluster is equivalent to 20 million billion suns. A star cluster could roughly contain galaxies that range from 1000 to 10,000. The findings will be published in The Astrophysical Journal on July 19.

"Superclusters are the biggest coherent structures in the universal web".

Speaking to Press Trust of India, Sankhyayan said this "newly-discovered Saraswati supercluster" extends over a scale of 600 million light-years. The cluster of galaxies, found in the direction of the Pisces constellation, is one of the most massive large-scale structures in the universe.

"This supercluster is clearly embedded in a large network of cosmic filaments traced by clusters and large voids", he said.

"This could push astronomers into rethinking about how such large structures form". As per the model, smaller structures like galaxies are formed first, which congregate to form large structures. The work is expected to help better understand matter density clusters that had been formed billions of years ago. "Saraswati supercluster is the farthest one". More commonly known as the Goddess of knowledge in Hindu mythology, Saraswati is also the celestial goddess believed to be the keeper of the celestial rivers.

The IUCAA said that our own Milky Way galaxy is part of a supercluster called the Laniakea supercluster.

Joydeep Bagchi from IUCAA, lead author of the paper, and co-author Sankhyayan said they were "astonished to spot this giant wall-like supercluster of galaxies", visible in a large spectroscopic survey of distant galaxies, known as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

This project was supported by the University Grants Commission, through its funding of IUCAA, and the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA) programme.

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