Super Clusters

Super Clusters

Super clusters is a large group of smaller galaxy clusters or galaxy groups; it is among the largest-known structures of the cosmos. The Milky Way is part of the Local Group galaxy group (which contains more than 54 galaxies. The Perseus Pisces Supercluster – The Perseus Pisces is a supercluster, approximately 12 Mpc wide and almost 100 Mpc long, although the Zone of Avoidance obscures a big part. Perseus Pisces is part of the Perseus Pegasus Filament, see the next section on Filaments & Walls. The Perseus Pisces Supercluster’s clusters are Abell 347 Abell 262 and Abell 426, with A426 being undoubtedly the cluster shown in the picture on the right. Therefore we’re seeing it because it was when the Universe was just about two billion years old, although it is regarded as around 13.7 billion years old now.

Here’s an artists impression of this Lynx Arc. They are named after the constellation, the Lynx, by which they’re seen. It’s possible to see the Lynx Arc in this image of the Lynx Cluster as a streak that is smeared I’ve arrowed. The light we see is light from all these hot stars which has been red shifted 12 billion years after travelling to reach us. This degree of intensity of ultra violet may come just from stars that are very big and hot, with surface temperatures around 80, 000 K.This is about twice the warmth of the latest stars that form today, and is because of the celebrity comprising hydrogen and helium together with the density of heavier components being just around 5% the value for the Sun.

Obviously this implies that together with masses several hundred times that of the Sun, they burn much warmer and last for a much shorter lifespan, possibly 1 or 2 million years compared to a celebrity like the Sun which has a life span of around 10 billion years. Superclusters of galaxies involve scales up to gigaparsecs. As discussed in this previous section, our Galaxy, this Milky Way, is in this Local Group of galaxies. Superclusters are big groups of smaller galaxy groups and clusters, because well because isolated galaxies. They’re very big structures spanning between 20 and 100 Mpc or more in their long dimension.

They were once thought to be this largest structures in this Universe, but are today seen because components of truly vast walls and filaments. Astronomers believe that there are several 10 million superclusters in this observable Universe. Shown in the picture to the left are a number of the voids, practically devoid of galaxies, that exist among this superclusters, usually bordered by filaments. Now for some info on a couple of this larger Superclusters that have been identified. Astronomers have known since the eighties that the Milky Way, and the Local Group, is moving towards Centaurus at a speed of between 240 and 480 km\/sec relative to the Cosmic Microwave Background.

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