Hidden extragalactic structure discovered behind the Milky Way

(ORDO NEWS) — Being inside a galaxy certainly has its advantages, given that life-bearing planets are unlikely to have formed in intergalactic space.

On the other hand, this means that there is a huge section of the universe that we cannot see because it is covered by the central region of the Milky Way.

Now astronomers have been able to determine the existence of a cluster of galaxies beyond the “zone of avoidance”.

In the zone of avoidance, which makes up about 20 percent of the sky as seen from Earth, light is blocked by huge clouds of gas and dust located in the plane of the Milky Way.

However, other wavelengths, such as infrared, can pass through it.

NIR observations actually turn out to be very important for learning what is in the zone of avoidance.

Recently, astronomers discovered an unknown cluster of galaxies, which was given the not-so-memorable designation VVVGCl-B J181435-381432.

The light from this star cluster took 2.7 billion years to reach us. Its mass, according to preliminary estimates, is about 45-50 times the mass of the Milky Way.

The team of astronomers estimate that the radius of the structure is roughly equal to the distance between the Milky Way and Andromeda, the nearest galaxy. This cluster has a lot of mass in a (relatively) small space.

A team of scientists used the Gemini telescope to study five galaxies that are currently considered part of this cluster.

They suspected that together they formed this cluster of galaxies. Now they believe that up to 58 galaxies can “hide” in the structure.

We don’t know much about the zone of avoidance, but sometimes astronomers are smart enough to plug these gaps.

And that’s great, otherwise you’ll have to wait several tens of millions of years for it to become visible. Does anyone have time for this?


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