20 August 2012
Posted in Our Planet, Our Universe
An extraordinary cluster of galaxies is continuing to shatter cosmic records! The cluster of galaxies is located nearly 7 billion light years away. It is known as SPT-CLJ2344-4243, though astronomers have given it a less formal nickname: the Phoenix Cluster. Named after the constellation it resides in, the cluster appears to contain thousands of galaxies within it, with each varying in size to that of a dwarf galaxy (a small galaxy comprised of several billion stars) to clusters of stars the size of the Milky Way galaxy.
The Phoenix Cluster is unlike anything astronomers have ever seen before; it is about 2,000 times the apparent mass of the Milky Way. Or to put things in better perspective, 2.5 quadrillion times the mass of the sun!