Astronomers plan to investigate Vela supercluster’s gravitational tug
T. Jarrett/University of Cape Town
An immense wall of galaxies, stretching over 380 million light-years, is hiding beyond the far side of the Milky Way.
Dubbed the Vela supercluster, this galactic horde sits about 800 million light-years away in the constellation Vela, researchers report online November 8 in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters. Despite its size and relative proximity, Vela has gone unnoticed because it is largely obscured by our own galaxy.
Superclusters — assemblages of groups of galaxies — are among the largest known structures in the universe. Following up on earlier hints that an uncharted supercluster might lurk nearby, Renée Kraan-Korteweg, an astronomer at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and colleagues scoured a patch of sky bisected by a wall of stars that is part of the Milky Way. Using telescopes in South Africa and Australia, they