We are insignificant against the background of the universe. And there you have a new illustrative example
Astronomers have discovered a huge galactic supercluster, located about 4 billion light-years from Earth. And it's not only the supercluster is one of the largest cosmic structures among detected, it is also the most remote supercluster, which is able to find and explore.
Across the Universe everything is relative. You may think that the world in which we live, incredible huge, but it is only a small part of an even larger structure - the solar system - which, in turn, only looks small grain of sand on the background of our Milky Way galaxy. But this is not the limit. Galaxy have the property to be attracted to each other, forming the so-called galactic clusters, or clusters. And then there are the superclusters, uniting under a slightly more compact clusters of galaxies.
And that's just one of those galactic superclusters discovered a team of astronomers from India, identifying the presence of a previously unknown very dense clusters of galaxies, which was given the name in honor of the Indian River Saraswati.
Galactic supercluster Saraswati (Saraswati supercluster), which became the discovery researchers from Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (Inter University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics, IUCAA), is truly enormous. It stretches for about 600 million light-years, and its mass, according to preliminary estimates, may be a lot of more than 20 million billion suns.
Even if we ignore the enormous size and weight, it is an interesting discovery is doing what in fact, astronomers have found to date is not so many of these superclusters that allows Saraswati in fact enter into a kind of elite club.
"Previously superclusters that are comparable in size, was found not so much. These include, for example, the Shapley supercluster and the same Sloan Great Wall ", - commented astronomers Dzhoydip Bagchi and Shishir Sankhyayan.
But allocates sverhspolenie Saraswati them that, unlike the latter, located relatively close to us, Sarasvati is about 4 billion light-years from Earth.
"This is the first time that we were able to detect sverskhoplenie located so far away from us. Even Shapley about 8-10 times closer to us, "- says Somac Rayshaudhuri, a member of the Indian team, earlier also contributed to the opening of the Shapley supercluster.
Two of the most massive galaxy clusters that make up the supercluster Saraswati
Astronomers have discovered a supercluster Saraswati, conducting analysis of data collected in the framework of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. From words scientists supercluster it consists of at least 43 galactic clusters groups and that in total is about 400 different galaxies. Since Saraswati is so far from Earth, which means that its light before the scientists noticed him, had to overcome the enormous distances, spending a few billion years. Calculations say, the appearance of the supercluster, which seems to us now, in fact, was exactly when the universe was 10 billion years.
This glimpse into the past can help us understand how to form such a massive space of the superstructure, as well as learn more about the conditions under which the early universe, they had to do it.
"Since the formation of such a vast space structure is very slow, a few billion years, it carries with it some sort of recording the history of its formation," - says Bagchi.
may also be noted that the existence of superclusters Saraswati 4 billion light-years away was a real surprise to scientists. Since given our current understanding of galactic evolution, in such giant space structures simply would not have enough time to form into something like that, when the universe was only 10 billion years old. This means that our new theoretical concepts of dark energy and dark matter, an opinion which is still not clear among scientists, in fact, could play an important role here.
"Theory is always subject to an impact the reality of nature. The balance of dark matter and dark energy is really able to give birth to giant structures, but the cluster of this size are still a mystery to us, "- says Rayshaudhuri.
In general, despite the opening of a giant superclusters, somewhere there may be even larger cosmic structures waiting to be discovered.