Home Page Overview Site Map Index Appendix Illustration About Contact Update FAQ


Superclusters


Formation of Superclusters

Recently in 1999, the X-ray telescope on the spacecraft Rosat has detected intergalactic wind blowing through superculsters. The observations showed the direction of the winds by the way they bent jets of electrified gases (plasma) emitted from the cores of galaxies (the same effect as bending smoke from a chimney). The wind directions were lined up with the galactic clusters within superclusters, i.e., along the supercluster axis. It seems to feed matter, including stars, galaxies and gas swept up and transported by the winds, into the growing galactic clusters.
computer simulation Formation of superclusters may be the next stage in a process that is shaping and forming fundamental units in the universe. It is believed that the process began after the Big Bang, when matter in the universe expanded out rapidly. Some matter clumped together to form stars. Then gravity took over and the stars formed galaxies, then groups, then clusters and, now, superclusters. The supercluster formation occurring now is at an early stage. These objects may be at the critical point of overcoming the random motion and are now collapsing under its own gravitation into an increasingly dense superstructure. Figure 03-09a is a computer simulation of the growth of large scale structure as matter is accreted along the filaments. Each square represents a step in the evolution of the universe. The sequence commences at redshift 10.0, less than 500 million years after the Big Bang, and terminates at redshift 0 corresponding to the current epoch. However, superclusters are recognizable by observation only up to a distance of about 8x109 lys at z ~ 1; and we cannot see the Virgo supercluster (within ~ 200 million lys) in which we are living (Figure 03-09b).

     Figure 03-09a

Computer Simulation of Large Scale Structure Evolution [view large image]

Cosmic Timeline

Figure 03-09b Cosmic Timeline [view large image]

Go to Next Section
 or to Top of Page to Select
 or to Main Menu

.