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Indian astronomers discover supercluster of galaxies, name it ‘Saraswati’

  • Editor
  • July 15, 2017
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Astronomers associated with the India’s Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) – institutes in Pune – have discovered a supercluster of galaxies in the direction of Pisces constellation. The galaxy is named as ‘Saraswati’. It is one of the most enormous, supercluster of galaxies in the universe. It is also the first discovery of this kind made by Indians.

Located some four billion light-years away from our planet, the Saraswati supercluster contains the mass of 20 million billion suns. Because it’s located so far away, the light has taken that much extra time to reach the Earth. The supercluster – which is essentially a large group of smaller galaxy clusters – supposedly originates back to 10 billion years. Also, it consists of more than 10,000 galaxies across 42 clusters!

Supercluster of Galaxies is basically a collection of comparatively smaller galaxy clusters which are structures which contain hundred to thousand of galaxies, all of which are bound together by gravity. The Virgo supercluster is made up of about 100 galaxy clusters. Our Milky Way falls under the Laniakea Supercluster, which was catalogued in 2014. The sheer scale of the superclusters which are millions in number, making them one of the largest structures in our cosmos. Also, superclusters are not the final product of the galaxy clusters, the superclusters are also collectively identified as supercluster complexes.

This discovery is also important as it also sheds light on the roles which the initial conditions of the cosmos and dark energy played in the supercluster formation. Dark energy is the force which is primarily responsible for the expansion of the universe. The amazing discovery was made by astrophysicists from Pune who were looking for the largest supercluster of galaxies in the universe. As of now, there exist nearly 10 million superclusters in the universe.

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