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A supercluster of galaxies-Saraswati
Jul 18, 2017

A massive supercluster of galaxies has been discovered by astronomers at Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune along with NIT, Jamshedpur and Newman College, Thodupuzha. 

  • This supercluster, named Saraswati,  is about 4 billion light years (distance travelled by light in one year) away and spreads over a “great wall” about 600 million light years across, making it one of the largest and also the farthest superclusters to be discovered.
  • Superclusters are the largest coherent structures seen in the universe. They are groups of clusters of galaxies separated by voids. 
  • The first supercluster of galaxies discovered in 1989 was the Shapley Supercluster, and the second, the Sloan Great Wall in 2003. 
  • The Milky Way galaxy is part of the Laniakea Supercluster discovered in 2014. 
  • The discovery raises questions about the formation of large structures and the nature of the universe. Given the belief that the universe is 13.8 billion years old, the discovery implies that such a huge structure existed even when the universe was just about ten billion years old. 

PT Facts

  • According to the Big Bang Theory, about 13.7 billion years ago all the matter in the Universe was concentrated into a single incredibly tiny point. This began to enlarge rapidly in a hot explosion, and it is still expanding today.
  • Evidence for the Big Bang includes: all the galaxies are moving away from each other and the further away a galaxy is, the faster it is moving away.


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