This article is about astronomy. For other uses, see Supercluster (disambiguation).
A map of the Superclusters and voids nearest to Earth

Superclusters are large groups of smaller galaxy clusters or galaxy groups and are among the largest known structures of the cosmos. The Milky Way is in the Local Group of galaxies, which in turn is in the Laniakea Supercluster.[1] This supercluster spans over 500 million light years, while the Local Group spans over 10 million light years.[2] The number of superclusters in the observable universe is estimated to 10 million.[3]

Galaxies are grouped into clusters instead of being dispersed randomly. Clusters of galaxies are grouped together to form superclusters. Typically, superclusters contain dozens of individual clusters throughout an area of space about 150 million lightyears across. Unlike clusters, superclusters are not bound together by gravity. They are all shifting away from each other due to the Hubble flow.

Our galaxy falls within the Local Group, which is a poor and irregular cluster of galaxies. Poor clusters may contain only a few dozen galaxies as compared to rich clusters that can contain hundreds or even thousands. The Local Group is near the Local Supercluster (also known as the Virgo Supercluster) which has a diameter of 100 million lightyears. The Local Supercluster contains a total of about 1015 times the mass of the Sun.

The biggest cluster in the local universe is called the Great Attractor. Its gravity is so strong that the Local Supercluster, including the Milky Way, is moving in a direction towards it at a rate of several hundred kilometers per second. The biggest supercluster outside of the local universe is the Perseus-Pegasus Filament. It contains the Perseus supercluster and it spans about a billion light years. From what we currently know, it is the largest structure in the universe. This supercluster was discovered by David Batuski and Jack Burns of New Mexico State University.

open page  Distribution: cosmic voids and sheets
open page  Existence
open page  List of superclusters
open page  Diagram
open page  References