Astronomers in India Discover Supercluster of Galaxies, Name It 'Saraswati'

Indian scientists discover Saraswati — one of the most massive large-scale structures in the universe

"We were very surprised 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", astronomer Somak Raychaudhury, director of the Inter University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics in Pune, India, said in a news release. The astronomers have named it Saraswati. The study carried out by these scientist says that the cluster is one of the largest known structures in the neighborhood, 4,000 million light-years away from Earth and roughly more than 10 billion years old. It is made up of at least 43 massive groups and clusters, and contains about 400 galaxies in total, giving it a combined mass 20 million billion times that of our sun.

Extremely large supercluster of galaxies - as big as 20 million billion suns. The findings of these scientists were published in the latest issue of The Astrophysical Journal, the premier research journal of the American Astronomical Society. "These clusters often stretch to numerous hundred times the size of the galaxies clusters and consists of many thousands of galaxies", stated IUCAA. There are thin "filaments" that connect galaxies, forming a cosmic web, and there are large voids in between.

Giving into the fabulous charisma of the build of our existence, they added that when astronomers look far away, they see the universe from long ago, since light takes a while to reach us. The cluster of galaxies, found in the direction of the Pisces constellation, is one of the most massive large-scale structures in the universe.

In a bigger level cosmos, gravity attracts galaxies to come closer and form a cluster while the mysterious dark matter, repulsive in nature, hinders the binding of clusters and accelerates the expansion of the universe.

"This could push astronomers into rethinking about how such large structures form". 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.

Joydeep Bagchi from IUCAA, the lead author of the paper and co-author Shishir Sankhyayan (PhD scholar at IISER, Pune) said, "This supercluster is clearly embedded in a large network of cosmic filaments traced by clusters and large voids". The Saraswati supercluster could challenge this premise, because it was formed so early and building such a big structure far back might have been hard. The Milky Way is a part of a local group, which has around 50 galaxies in it.



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