Saraswati: Indian scientists discover supercluster of galaxies
A team of Indian astronomers have identified previously unknown, extremely large supercluster of galaxies located in the direction of constellation Pisces. It has been named “Saraswati”.
It was discovered by astronomers from Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), both in Pune, Maharashtra.
What is Supercluster?
A supercluster is a chain of galaxies and galaxy clusters. It bound by gravity consisting of tens of thousands of galaxies. It often stretches several hundred times the size of clusters of galaxies. Thus, it can be said, galaxies are made of billions of stars and planets and grouped into clusters. These clusters of galaxies, in turn, are grouped together to form superclusters. The Milky Way, the galaxy in which earth is located is part of a supercluster called the Laniakea Supercluster.
About Saraswati supercluster
Saraswati supercluster is one of the largest known structures in the nearby universe. It is 4 billion light years away from Earth and may contain the mass equivalent of over 20 million billion suns.
It has 43 galaxies that may contain thousands of suns, besides having billions of stars, planets, other bodies, gases and dark matter. It is estimated to be stretched over 650 million light years in distance.
The discovery of Saraswati supercluster will help astronomers in understanding galaxy formation and evolution, effect of superclusters on environment of the galaxies.
Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017