Visualization of the Hyperion proto-supercluster
|Observation data (Epoch J2000)|
|Right ascension||10h 6m|
|Major axis||150 Mpc (489 Mly)|
|Minor axis||60 Mpc (196 Mly)|
|Binding mass||4.8 × 1015 M☉|
The Hyperion proto-supercluster is the largest and earliest known proto-supercluster, 5,000 times the mass of the Milky Way and seen at 20% of the current age of the universe. It was discovered in 2018 by analysing the redshifts of 10,000 objects observed with the Very Large Telescope in Chile.
The discovery team led by Olga Cucciati used computational astrophysics methods and astroinformatics; statistical techniques were applied to large datasets of galaxy redshifts, using a two-dimensional Voronoi tessellation to correlate gravitational interaction (virialization) of visible structures. The existence of non-visible (dark matter) structures was inferred.
Correlation was based on redshift data captured in a sky survey called VIMOS-VLT Deep Survey, using the Visible Multi Object Spectrograph (VIMOS) instrument of the Very Large Telescope in Chile, and other surveys to a lesser extent. Spectroscopic redshift data for 3,822 objects (galaxies) was selected.
The structure is estimated to weigh 4.8 × 1015 solar masses (about 5,000 times the mass of the Milky Way) and to extend 60 Mpc × 60 Mpc × 150 Mpc (196 Mly × 196 Mly × 489 Mly). It lies within the two square degree Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) field of the constellation Sextans. Hyperion's redshift is z=2.45 putting it 11 billion light years from Earth; it existed at less than 20% of the present age of the Universe. Eventually it is "expected to evolve into something similar to the immense structures in the local universe such as the superclusters making up the Sloan Great Wall or the Virgo Supercluster".
Use in cosmology
The supercluster contains dark matter, evidenced by a mismatch between the visible objects in it and their computed gravitational binding. As a relic from the early Universe, the dark matter data could be used to test cosmological theories. As the 2018 paper authors note, "the identification of massive/complex proto-clusters at high redshift could be useful to give constraints on dark matter simulations" of the Lambda-CDM model.
- Lynx Supercluster, former record-holder supercluster for red shift z=1.26–1.27 (distance or time of formation)
- CL J1001+0220, record-holder galaxy cluster since 2016 at z=2.5
- Katherine Hignett (October 17, 2018), "Astronomers Find Largest Galaxy Proto-supercluster", Newsweek – via MSN
- Largest Galaxy Proto-Supercluster Found - Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope uncover a cosmic titan lurking in the early Universe, European Southern Observatory (ESO), 17 October 2018, Science Release eso1833, retrieved 18 October 2018
- Cucciati et al. 2018.
- Doris Elin Salazar (October 17, 2018). "Meet Hyperion: Colossal Supercluster in the Early Universe". Space.com.
- Cucciati et al. 2018, p. 3.
- Don Lincoln (October 21, 2018), This 'supercluster' of galaxies lets us peek into the universe's past, CNN
- Cucciati et al. 2018, p. 1.
- Nicole Mortillaro (October 17, 2018), Astronomers find most massive structure in the early universe: Proto-supercluster may contain thousands of galaxies, CBC
- Natalia A. Ramos Miranda (October 17, 2018), "Scientists in Chile unveil 'A Cosmic Titan' cluster of galaxies", Reuters
- "Astronomers Find A Cosmic Titan In The Early Universe", Keck Observatory News (website), Kamuela, Hawaii: W. M. Keck Observatory, California Association for Research in Astronomy, October 19, 2018, retrieved 2018-11-22
- Cucciati et al. 2018, p. 17.
- Cucciati, O.; Lemaux, B. C.; Zamorani, G.; Le Fèvre, O.; Tasca, L. A. M.; Hathi, N. P.; Lee, K.-G.; Bardelli, S.; Cassata, P.; Garilli, B.; Le Brun, V.; MacCagni, D.; Pentericci, L.; Thomas, R.; Vanzella, E.; Zucca, E.; Lubin, L. M.; Amorin, R.; Cassarà, L. P.; Cimatti, A.; Talia, M.; Vergani, D.; Koekemoer, A.; Pforr, J.; Salvato, M. (2018). "The progeny of a cosmic titan: A massive multi-component proto-supercluster in formation at z = 2.45 in VUDS". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 619: A49. arXiv:1806.06073. Bibcode:2018A&A...619A..49C. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201833655.
- Douglas Heaven (October 17, 2018), "Cosmic supercluster is largest object ever seen in the early universe", New Scientist
- Alison Klesman (October 18, 2018), "Astronomers discover a galaxy supercluster growing in the early universe – This titanic group of galaxies was already forming just 2.3 billion years after the Big Bang.", Astronomy.com