Indian astronomers have discovered a super mega river of Galaxies and have named it Saraswati.
The gigantic cluster of galaxies, located about 4 million light years away from Earth, has been named Saraswati after the Goddess and means ever-flowing stream with many pools. The cluster spans over 650 million light years in its expanse and has over 10,000 galaxies in 42 clusters. The total mass of this behemoth cluster is equivalent to 20 million billion suns.
The cluster was found by a team of astronomers from Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune and used data from Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The discovery has made astronomers think about the early stages of evolution of the universe and provides vital clues about dark matter. The discovery was published in The Astrological Journal on Thursday.
Somak Raychaudhury, one of the co-authors and the Director of IUCAA, commented,
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. There are hundreds of superclusters in size range of less than 100 million light years, Saraswati supercluster clearly stands out in the sky as an especially rare, and possibly among the mega superclusters exceeding 500 million light years in size.
The sun is one among a billion large stars and the Milky Way, which extends over 120,000 light years, is just a tiny dot in the unexplored universe. Galaxy clusters are formed by gravitational interaction between galaxies. The Milky Way is a part of a local group, which has around 50 galaxies in it.
Prof, Raychaudhary further explained,
The discovery of these extremely large structures thus forces astronomers into rethinking popular theories of how the Universe got its current form, starting from a more-or-less uniform distribution of energy after the Big Bang.
In a bigger level cosmos, gravity attracts galaxies to come closer and form a cluster while the mysterious dark matter, repulsive in nature, hinders the binding of clusters and accelerates the expansion of the universe.