Indian scientists claim discovery of galaxy ‘Saraswati’ in universe

PUNE: For the first time in the country, a team of Indian scientists has claimed to have discovered an “extremely large supercluster of galaxies”, Saraswati, in the universe.
“Since the light from this galaxy has just reached us, we will be able to study how it (galaxy) was in the past,” is what the scientists have to claim.
This ultra large structure is on the direction of constellation Pisces and 400 billion light years away from Earth. “This is a very high concentration of galaxies in the universe and it is very rare. Few such structures have been observed till now and this is definitely a first from India as all authors are Indians,” said Shishir Sankhyayan from IISER, who is a co-author.
Sankhyayan said that while in 1989, Somak Raychoudhury, now director of IUCAA, had discovered such a super cluster of galaxies, he was then in the UK for his PhD at Cambridge University. “Earth, which belongs to Milky Way galaxy, is actually also a part of a supercluster called the Laniaka supercluster,” he added.
Since the galaxy that has been discovered is far away from earth, the light has taken that much more time to reach Earth. This means what the scientists have observed is actually the past. “This helps us understand how the universe must have been many many years ago. Dark energy, as we all know, is behind the expansion of the universe but nobody has ever actually detected it. But everybody is studying this and the discovery of Saraswati will help us understand the dark energy and what part it plays in the expansion and other evolution of the universe,” added Sankhayayan.
In a press statement, Joydeep Bagchi from IUCAA, the lead author of the paper, said, ”We were very surprised to spot this giant wall-like supercluster of galaxies, visible in a large spectroscopic survey of distant galaxies, known as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. This supercluster is clearly embedded in a large network of cosmic filaments traced by clusters and large voids. Our work will help to shed light on the perplexing question; how such extreme large scale, prominent matter-density enhancements had formed billions of years in the past when the mysterious Dark Energy had just started to dominate structure formation.’

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