IN14 SARASWATi

A research team of Indian astronomers has identified a gigantic super cluster of galaxies, as large as 20 million billion suns, that they have named as Saraswati, as stated by Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) which is based in Pune on Thursday.

This is till date the biggest known structures in the universe’s neighbourhood that are at a distance of 4,000 million light-years from our Earth and approximately more than 11 million years old, IUCAA added. The mass of the star cluster extends over 600 million light years’ scale.

The scientists from this Institute were also in the groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves the previous year.

The super cluster of the stars was discovered by a PhD student from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune named as  Shishir Sankhyayan; Pratik Dabhade, a research fellow from IUCAA, Prakash Sarkar from the National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur and Joe Jacob from the Newman College, Kerala.

Their research findings were published in the recent issues of the premier research journal of the American Astronomical Society, The Astrophysical Journal.

“Superclusters are the biggest coherent structures in the universal web. These are a chain of galaxy clusters and galaxies that are bound together by the force of gravity. These clusters often stretch to numerous hundred times the size of the galaxies clusters and consists of many thousands of galaxies,” stated IUCAA.

Mr Sankhyayan reported this “newly discovered supercluster- Saraswati” extends to approximately 600 million light years and is an estimated to have contained mass equivalent to around 20 million billion suns. A star cluster could roughly contain galaxies that range from 1000 to 10,000. On the other hand, a supercluster is estimated to have clusters that range from 40 to 43,” he stated.