Supercluster

Supercluster

Overview

Superclusters are large groups of smaller galaxy groups and clusters
Galaxy groups and clusters
Galaxy groups and clusters are the largest known gravitationally bound objects to have arisen thus far in the process of cosmic structure formation. They form the densest part of the large scale structure of the universe...

 and are among the largest known structures of the cosmos
Cosmos
In the general sense, a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from the Greek term κόσμος , meaning "order" or "ornament" and is antithetical to the concept of chaos. Today, the word is generally used as a synonym of the word Universe . The word cosmos originates from the same root...

. They are so large that they are not gravitationally bound and, consequently, partake in the Hubble expansion.

The existence of superclusters indicates that the galaxies
Galaxy
A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and an important but poorly understood component tentatively dubbed dark matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias , literally "milky", a...

 in our Universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 are not uniformly distributed; most of them are drawn together in groups and clusters, with groups containing up to 50 galaxies and clusters up to several thousand galaxies.
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Encyclopedia

Superclusters are large groups of smaller galaxy groups and clusters
Galaxy groups and clusters
Galaxy groups and clusters are the largest known gravitationally bound objects to have arisen thus far in the process of cosmic structure formation. They form the densest part of the large scale structure of the universe...

 and are among the largest known structures of the cosmos
Cosmos
In the general sense, a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from the Greek term κόσμος , meaning "order" or "ornament" and is antithetical to the concept of chaos. Today, the word is generally used as a synonym of the word Universe . The word cosmos originates from the same root...

. They are so large that they are not gravitationally bound and, consequently, partake in the Hubble expansion.

Existence


The existence of superclusters indicates that the galaxies
Galaxy
A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and an important but poorly understood component tentatively dubbed dark matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias , literally "milky", a...

 in our Universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 are not uniformly distributed; most of them are drawn together in groups and clusters, with groups containing up to 50 galaxies and clusters up to several thousand galaxies. Those groups and clusters and additional isolated galaxies in turn form even larger structures called superclusters.

Superclusters form large structures of galaxies, called "filaments"
Galaxy filament
In physical cosmology, galaxy filaments, also called supercluster complexes or great walls, are, so far, the largest known cosmic structures in the universe. They are massive, thread-like structures with a typical length of 50 to 80 megaparsecs h-1 that form the boundaries between large voids in...

, "supercluster complexes", "walls" or "sheets", that may span between several hundred million light-years to one billion light-year
Light-year
A light-year, also light year or lightyear is a unit of length, equal to just under 10 trillion kilometres...

s, covering more than 5% of the observable universe
Observable universe
In Big Bang cosmology, the observable universe consists of the galaxies and other matter that we can in principle observe from Earth in the present day, because light from those objects has had time to reach us since the beginning of the cosmological expansion...

. Observations of superclusters likely tell us something about the initial condition of the universe when these superclusters were created. The directions of the rotational axes of galaxies within superclusters may also give us insight into the formation process of galaxies early in the history of the Universe.

According to some astronomers, no clusters of superclusters are known; the existence of structures larger than superclusters is debated (see Galaxy filament
Galaxy filament
In physical cosmology, galaxy filaments, also called supercluster complexes or great walls, are, so far, the largest known cosmic structures in the universe. They are massive, thread-like structures with a typical length of 50 to 80 megaparsecs h-1 that form the boundaries between large voids in...

). Interspersed among superclusters are large voids
Void (astronomy)
In astronomy, voids are the empty spaces between filaments, the largest-scale structures in the Universe, that contain very few, or no, galaxies. They were first discovered in 1978 during a pioneering study by Stephen Gregory and Laird A. Thompson at the Kitt Peak National Observatory...

 of space in which few galaxies exist. Even though superclusters are the largest confirmed structures, the total number of superclusters leaves possibilities for structural distribution.

Superclusters are frequently subdivided into groups of clusters called galaxy cloud
Galaxy cloud
A galaxy cloud is a group of galaxy clusters and a substructure of a supercluster. The Local Supercluster contains the Virgo cluster, the Canes Venatici Cloud and the Virgo II Cloud....

s.

Nearby superclusters

Galaxy supercluster Data Notes
Local Supercluster
Virgo Supercluster
The Virgo Supercluster or Local Supercluster is the irregular supercluster that contains the Virgo Cluster in addition to the Local Group, which in turn contains the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies. At least 100 galaxy groups and clusters are located within its diameter of 33 megaparsecs...

  • z
    Redshift
    In physics , redshift happens when light seen coming from an object is proportionally increased in wavelength, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum...

    =0.000 (0 light years away)
  • Length = 33 Mpc (110 million light years)
It contains the Local Group
Local Group
The Local Group is the group of galaxies that includes Earth's galaxy, the Milky Way. The group comprises more than 30 galaxies , with its gravitational center located somewhere between the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy...

 with our galaxy
Galaxy
A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and an important but poorly understood component tentatively dubbed dark matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias , literally "milky", a...

, the Milky Way
Milky Way
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Solar System. This name derives from its appearance as a dim un-resolved "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky...

. It also contains the Virgo cluster
Virgo Cluster
The Virgo Cluster is a cluster of galaxies whose center is 53.8 ± 0.3 Mly away in the constellation Virgo. Comprising approximately 1300 member galaxies, the cluster forms the heart of the larger Local Supercluster, of which the Local Group is an outlying member...

 near its center, and is sometimes called the Virgo Supercluster.
Hydra-Centaurus Supercluster
Hydra-Centaurus Supercluster
The Hydra-Centaurus Supercluster , or the Hydra and Centaurus superclusters, is a supercluster in two parts and the closest neighbour of Milky Way's Virgo Supercluster....

It is composed of two lobes, sometimes also referred to as superclusters, or sometimes the entire supercluster is referred to by these other two names
  • Hydra Supercluster
  • Centaurus Supercluster
  • Perseus-Pisces Supercluster
    Perseus-Pisces Supercluster
    The Perseus-Pisces Supercluster is one of the largest known structures in the universe. Even at a distance of 250 million light-years, this chain of galaxy clusters extends more than 40° across the northern winter sky...

    Pavo-Indus Supercluster
    Pavo-Indus Supercluster
    The Pavo-Indus Supercluster is a neighboring supercluster to the Local Supercluster containing Local Group, a group of galaxies that contains our home galaxy, Milky Way galaxy. The Supercluster contains four main clusters, Abell 3656, Abell 3698, Abell 3742 according to Atlas of the universe web...

    Coma Supercluster
    Coma Supercluster
    The Coma Supercluster is a nearby supercluster of galaxies comprising the Coma Cluster and the Leo Cluster . Located 300 million light-years from Earth, it is in the center of the Great Wall. The Coma Supercluster is the nearest massive cluster of galaxies to our own Virgo Supercluster...

    Forms most of the CfA Homunculus, the center of the CfA2 Great Wall galaxy filament
    Galaxy filament
    In physical cosmology, galaxy filaments, also called supercluster complexes or great walls, are, so far, the largest known cosmic structures in the universe. They are massive, thread-like structures with a typical length of 50 to 80 megaparsecs h-1 that form the boundaries between large voids in...

    Sculptor Superclusters SCl 9
    Hercules Superclusters
    Hercules Superclusters
    The Hercules Superclusters refers to a set of two nearby superclusters of galaxies.Relative to other local superclusters, Hercules is considered particularly large, being approximately 330 Mly in diameter...

    SCl 160
    Leo Supercluster SCl 93
    Ophiuchus Supercluster
  • cz=8500–9000 km/s (centre)
  • 18 Mpc x 26 Mpc
  • Forming the far wall of the Ophiuchus Void, it may be connected in a filament, with the Pavo-Indus-Telescopium Supercluster and the Hercules Supercluster. This supercluster is centered on the cD cluster Ophiuchus Cluster, and has at least two more galaxy clusters, four more galaxy groups, several field galaxies, as members.
    Shapley Supercluster
    Shapley Supercluster
    The Shapley Supercluster or Shapley Concentration is the largest concentration of galaxies in our nearby universe that forms a gravitationally interacting unit, thereby pulling itself together instead of expanding with the universe. It appears as a striking overdensity in the distribution of...

    The second supercluster found, after the Local Supercluster.

    Distant superclusters

    Galaxy supercluster Data Notes
    Pisces-Cetus Supercluster
    Bootes Supercluster SCl 138
    Horologium Supercluster
    Horologium Supercluster
    The Horologium Supercluster is a massive supercluster, about 550 million light-years across and has a mass of 1017 solar masses...

    z
    Redshift
    In physics , redshift happens when light seen coming from an object is proportionally increased in wavelength, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum...

    =0.063 (700 Mly)
    Length = 550 Mly
    The entire supercluster is referred to as the Horologium-Reticulum Supercluster
    Corona Borealis Supercluster
    Columba Supercluster
    Aquarius Supercluster
    Aquarius B Supercluster
    Aquarius-Capricornus Supercluster
    Aquarius-Cetus Supercluster
    Bootes A Supercluster
    Caelum Supercluster SCl 59
    Draco Supercluster
    Draco-Ursa Major Supercluster
    Fornax-Eridanus Supercluster
    Grus Supercluster
    Leo A Supercluster
    Leo-Sextans Supercluster
    Leo-Virgo Supercluster SCl 107
    Microscopium Supercluster SCl 174
    Pegasus-Pisces Supercluster SCl 3
    Pisces Supercluster SCl 24
    Pisces-Aries Supercluster
    Ursa Major Supercluster
    Virgo-Coma Supercluster SCl 111

    Far distant superclusters

    Galaxy supercluster Data Notes
    Lynx Supercluster z
    Redshift
    In physics , redshift happens when light seen coming from an object is proportionally increased in wavelength, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum...

    =1.27
    Discovered in 1999 (as ClG J0848+4453, a name now used to describe the western cluster, with ClG J0849+4452 being the eastern one), it contains at least two clusters RXJ 0848.9+4452 (z=1.26) and RXJ 0848.6+4453 (z=1.27) . At the time of discovery, it became the most distant known supecluster. Additionally, seven smaller groups of galaxies are associated with the supercluster.
    SCL @ 1338+27 at z=1.1
    z
    Redshift
    In physics , redshift happens when light seen coming from an object is proportionally increased in wavelength, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum...

    =1.1

    Length=70Mpc
    A rich supercluster with several galaxy clusters was discovered around an unusual concentration of 23 QSO
    Quasar
    A quasi-stellar radio source is a very energetic and distant active galactic nucleus. Quasars are extremely luminous and were first identified as being high redshift sources of electromagnetic energy, including radio waves and visible light, that were point-like, similar to stars, rather than...

    s at z=1.1 in 2001. The size of the complex of clusters may indicate a wall of galaxies
    Galaxy filament
    In physical cosmology, galaxy filaments, also called supercluster complexes or great walls, are, so far, the largest known cosmic structures in the universe. They are massive, thread-like structures with a typical length of 50 to 80 megaparsecs h-1 that form the boundaries between large voids in...

     exists there, instead of a single supercluster. The size discovered approaches the size of the CfA2 Great Wall filament. At the time of the discovery, it was the largest and most distant supercluster beyond z=0.5
    SCL @ 1604+43 at z=0.9 z
    Redshift
    In physics , redshift happens when light seen coming from an object is proportionally increased in wavelength, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum...

    =0.91
    This supercluster at the time of its discovery was the largest supercluster found so deep into space, in 2000. It consisted of two known rich clusters and one newly discovered cluster as a result of the study that discovered it. The then known clusters were Cl 1604+4304 (z=0.897) and Cl 1604+4321 (z=0.924), which then known to have 21 and 42 known galaxies respectively. The then newly discovered cluster was located at ,
    SCL @ 0018+16 at z=0.54 in SA26 z
    Redshift
    In physics , redshift happens when light seen coming from an object is proportionally increased in wavelength, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum...

    =0.54
    This supercluster lies around radio galaxy 54W084C (z=0.544) and is composed of at least three large clusters, CL 0016+16 (z=0.5455), RX J0018.3+1618 (z=0.5506), RX J0018.8+1602 .
    MS 0302+17
    z
    Redshift
    In physics , redshift happens when light seen coming from an object is proportionally increased in wavelength, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum...

    =0.42

    Length=6Mpc
    This supercluster has at least three member clusters, the eastern cluster CL 0303+1706, southern cluster MS 0302+1659 and northern cluster MS 0302+1717.

    Diagram



    External links


    See also

    • Large-scale structure of the cosmos
    • Galaxy groups and clusters
      Galaxy groups and clusters
      Galaxy groups and clusters are the largest known gravitationally bound objects to have arisen thus far in the process of cosmic structure formation. They form the densest part of the large scale structure of the universe...

    • Galaxy filament
      Galaxy filament
      In physical cosmology, galaxy filaments, also called supercluster complexes or great walls, are, so far, the largest known cosmic structures in the universe. They are massive, thread-like structures with a typical length of 50 to 80 megaparsecs h-1 that form the boundaries between large voids in...

    • Galaxy cloud
      Galaxy cloud
      A galaxy cloud is a group of galaxy clusters and a substructure of a supercluster. The Local Supercluster contains the Virgo cluster, the Canes Venatici Cloud and the Virgo II Cloud....

    • Galaxy
      Galaxy
      A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and an important but poorly understood component tentatively dubbed dark matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias , literally "milky", a...