Indian astronomers discover massive 'Saraswati' galaxy supercluster

Elias Hubbard
July 15, 2017

"Even the Shapley is about 8-10 times closer", said Somak Raychaudhury, Director of IUCAA and one of the authors of the paper being published in the latest issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

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. It is clumpy with galaxies forming clusters and these in turn forming superclusters. They are the largest coherent structures in the cosmic web.

In our nearby universe, the newfound supercluster Saraswati is one of the largest known structures.

"The Saraswati supercluster is far more distant", Bagchi said. The Saraswati supercluster was formed in an era when it is thought that dark energy was just starting to accelerate the universe's expansion, making it a product of the delicate balance between dark energy and dark matter.

Speculated to contain the mass equivalent of over 20 million billion suns, the Saraswati supercluster was observed by the astronomers as it must have appeared when the Universe was about 10 billion years old.

To understand their formation and evolution, one needs to identify these Superclusters and closely study the effect of their environment on the galaxies. According to them, it is a new research area and the discovery is going to improve this field of research. 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.

Our own galaxy is part of a Supercluster called the Laniakea Supercluster, announced in 2014 by Brent Tully at the University of Hawaii and collaborators.

The supercluster was discovered by Shishir Sankhyayan, a PhD student at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, Pratik Dabhade, IUCAA research fellow, Joe Jacob of the Newman College, Kerala, and Prakash Sarkar of the National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur.

Galaxies are gravitationally bound and are a part of filaments -massive thread-like formations- that form the boundaries between large cosmic voids in the universe.

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.

This supercluster located in the constellation of Pisces has many clusters and groups moving and merging like the mythological Saraswati river, which prompted us to give this name.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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