Giant Cluster of Galaxies Discovered

Astronomers have discovered a giant cluster of galaxies in a very remote part of the universe.

The galaxy cluster, located 8.5 billion light-years away, was spotted with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).

The Spitzer Space Telescope (SST), formerly the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), is an infrared space observatory launched in 2003. It is the fourth and final of the NASA Great Observatories program.

Galaxy clusters are gravitationally bound groups of thousands of galaxies, which contain hundreds of billions of stars.

current affairsThe clusters grow bigger and bigger over time as they acquire new members.

The galaxy cluster — called Massive Overdense Object (MOO) J1142+1527 — existed 8.5 billion years ago, long before Earth was formed.

In coming years, the team plans to sift through more than 1,700 additional galaxy cluster candidates with Spitzer, looking for the biggest of the bunch.

Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is a NASA infrared-wavelength astronomical space telescope launched in December 2009, and placed in hibernation in February 2011 when its transmitter turned off. It was re-activated in 2013.

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Its observations supported the discovery of the first Y Dwarf and Earth trojan asteroid, tens of thousands of new asteroids, and numerous previously undiscovered star clusters. Several galaxies discovered by it.