Marking a noteworthy discovery, a team Indian astronomers has uncovered a previously unknown ‘supercluster’ of galaxies, naming it 'Saraswati'.
Superclusters are a group of clusters of galaxies and 'Saraswati', is one of the largest known structures in the nearby universe containing 43 galaxies, and lies 4 billion light years away from us.
The pathbreaking discovery was achieved by Shishir Sankhyayan, a PhD student at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune; Pratik Dabhade, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) research fellow; Joe Jacob of the Newman College, Kerala; Prakash Sarkar of the National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur and was led by Joydeep Bagchi.
“This novel discovery is being published in the latest issue of The Astrophysical Journal, the premier research journal of the American Astronomical Society”, said an official statement from IUCAA.
According tot the reports, the Milky Way galaxy, of which Earth is a very small member, is part of the Laniakea supercluster, that was identified only in 2014. Sankhyayan said the Saraswati supercluster was estimated to have a mass of 2 x 1016 (twenty thousand trillion) suns, and could contain thousands of suns, besides having billions of stars, planets, other bodies, gases and dark matter. Saraswati is estimated to be stretched over 650 million light years in distance.