Indian Astronomers Discover Supercluster Of Galaxies 'Saraswati'

Geronimo Vena
Luglio 14, 2017

The scientists who made the discovery estimate that the weight or mass of the Saraswati supercluster (a large group of smaller galaxy clusters) to be equal to about 20 million billion times that of our very own Sun.

Astronomers from the Pune-based Inter University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics (IUCAA), and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and members of two other Indian universities stumbled upon the previously unknown supercluster, which is located in the direction of the Pisces constellation.

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

A Supercluster is a chain of galaxies and galaxy clusters, bound by gravity, often several hundred times bigger than clusters of galaxies.


In its latest issue, The Astrophysical Journal, the premier research journal of the American Astronomical Society, will be publishing the discovery. "This is a very high concentration of galaxies in the universe and it is very rare".

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.

Astronomers had realised more than three decades ago that galaxies are not scattered uniformly across the cosmos but arranged in clusters shaped like bubbles, sheets or walls and linked by filament-shaped structures, a pattern astronomers call the cosmic web. "The study of Saraswati therefore is likely to offer more insight into our understanding of dark energy", Sankhyayan said. Two most massive clusters of galaxies in the Saraswati supercluster: ABELL 2631 cluster (left) and ZwCl 2341.1+0000 cluster (right). The introduction to Saraswati will enhance this new field of research.

Officials from IUCAA said the paper was special because it is a direct product of IUCAA's associateship programme. Joydeep Bagchi and Prof.

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