Friday, 21 July, 2017

Indian Astronomers Discover A Giant Cluster Of Galaxies And Name It Saraswati

A zoomed-in view of the Saraswati supercluster of galaxies A zoomed-in view of the Saraswati supercluster of galaxies
Velma Reese | 15 July, 2017, 09:57

Indian scientists claimed to have discovered a supercluster of galaxies that exists some 4 billion light years away from the Earth and is as big as 20,000 trillion suns.

Indian astronomers have discovered a super mega river of Galaxies and have named it Saraswati.

The Saraswati supercluster is about 4 billion light years away in the constellation Pisces, much more distant than other superclusters we have seen.

Sankhyayan said this "newly-discovered Saraswati supercluster" extends over a scale of 600 million light-years and may contain the mass equivalent of over 20 million billion suns.

Joydeep Bagchi at Savitribai Phule Pune University in India and his colleagues found the supercluster using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a map of galaxies in the night sky.

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Their research findings were published in the recent issues of the premier research journal of the American Astronomical Society, The Astrophysical Journal. "They are a chain of galaxies and galaxy clusters, bound by gravity, often stretching to several hundred times the size of clusters of galaxies, consisting of tens of thousands of galaxies", the IUCAA said in a statement. There are thin "filaments" that connect galaxies, forming a cosmic web, and there are large voids in between.

"We're seeing a structure that had already formed about four billion years ago, or at a time when the universe was about two-thirds of its current age", said Somak Raychaudhury, director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, who led the team. "This supercluster is clearly embedded in a large network of cosmic filaments traced by clusters and large voids", Bagchi said. There are an estimated 10 million superclusters in the observable universe. As per the model, smaller structures like galaxies are formed first, which congregate to form large structures.

In recent years, the discovery of the present-day universe being dominated by "Dark Energy", which behaves very differently from gravitation, might play a role in the formation of these structures. 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 Saraswati supercluster is far more distant", Bagchi added.

Dark matter and dark energy are invoked to explain the structure of the universe.

Our Milky Way galaxy is a part of more than 54 galaxies which falls within the Local Group cluster, which in turn is a part of the Laniakea Supercluster that spans more than 500 million light years.

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