Astronomers have discovered a massive supercluster of galaxies located approximately 4 billion light-years from Earth – and not only is it one of the largest known structures in the cosmos, it’s also the most distant supercluster we’ve ever observed.
See, in space, everything is a question of perspective. From where you sit, the planet you’re reading this on may seem like a pretty big deal, but it’s only a tiny overall part of our Solar System, which in turn is basically an almost insignificant speck making up our galaxy, the Milky Way.
But we can still go bigger. Galaxies themselves are subsumed into larger stacks called galaxy groups and clusters – and then there are superclusters: unimaginably vast cosmic aggregations that collect galaxy clusters like a handful of spare change.
It’s one of these handfuls that a team of astronomers in India has now identified, locating a previously unknown dense supercluster that they’ve named after the ancient Sarasvati River.
The Saraswati supercluster, discovered by researchers from the Inter University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics (IUCAA), spans an epic swathe of space measuring some 600 million light-years across – in which, the team estimates, lies the equivalent combined mass of over 20 million billion Suns. Source: ScienceAlert