Indian astronomers discover ‘Saraswati’, a supercluster of galaxies

A team of Indian astronomers have identified a previously unknown, extremely large supercluster of galaxies located in the direction of constellation Pisces.

The supercluster of 43 galaxies, which they named ‘Saraswati’, is one of the largest known structures in the nearby universe, and is 4 billion light years away from us and may contain the mass equivalent of over 20 million billion suns

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.

The ‘Saraswati’ supercluster, for instance, extends over a scale of 600 million light years.

The Milky Way, the galaxy we are in, is part of a supercluster called the ‘Laniakea Supercluster’, announced in 2014 by Brent Tully at the University of Hawaii and collaborators.

The ‘Saraswati’ discovery was made by astronomers from India’s Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), both in Pune, and members of two other Indian universities.

IUCAA is an autonomous institution set up by the India to promote the nucleation and growth of active groups in astronomy and astrophysics at Indian universities.

(Agencies)

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