Indian scientists discover 'Saraswati' -- a supercluster of galaxies

Indian scientists discover 'Saraswati' -- a supercluster of galaxies

Indian scientists discover 'Saraswati' -- a supercluster of galaxies
Indian astrophysicists have discovered a massive supercluster of galaxies, located at a distance of four billion light years from the Earth.

Named Saraswati supercluster, it is one of the most massive large-scale structures in the universe, located in the direction of the constellation of the Pisces.

“Saraswati supercluster houses at least 40-42 galaxy-cluster and more than 10,000 galaxies. Existence of such large structures was not even thought of 10-15 years ago,” Somak Raychaudhury, director, Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics and leader of the team that made the discovery, told DH.

The popular models of universe formation cannot predict the existence of such large structures within the current age of the universe.

The discovery is therefore likely to open up a new window for scientists to re-examine the theories of universe formation.

A supercluster is 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.

Earth, for instance, is part of a solar system in the Milky Way galaxy that houses 200-400 billion stars. The Milky Way galaxy is part of a super cluster called the Laniakea super cluster. Laniakea, however, is a smaller one compared to the newly-discovered one.

The Saraswati supercluster extends over 600 million light-years and may contain the mass equivalent of over 20 million billion suns.

The team that made the discovery comprises researchers from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur and Newman College, Thodupuzha, Kerala.

The discovery would be published in an upcoming issue of the The Astrophysical Journal.
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