A map of the Superclusters and voids nearest to Earth

Superclusters are large groups of smaller galaxy groups and galaxy clusters and are among the largest known structures of the cosmos.


The Abell 901/902 supercluster is located a little over two billion light-years from Earth.[1]

The existence of superclusters indicates that the galaxies in our Universe are not uniformly distributed; most of them are drawn together in groups and clusters, with groups containing up to some dozens of galaxies and clusters up to several thousand galaxies. Those groups and clusters and additional isolated galaxies in turn form even larger structures called superclusters.

Superclusters form large structures of galaxies, called "filaments", "supercluster complexes", "walls" or "sheets", that may span between several hundred million light-years to 10 billion light-years, covering more than 5% of the observable universe. Observations of superclusters likely tell us something about the initial condition of the universe when these superclusters were created. The directions of the rotational axes of galaxies within superclusters may also give us insight into the formation process of galaxies early in the history of the Universe.[2]

Interspersed among superclusters are large voids of space in which few galaxies exist. Superclusters are frequently subdivided into groups of clusters called galaxy clouds.

List of superclusters

Nearby superclusters

Galaxy supercluster Data Notes
Laniakea Supercluster
  • z = 0.000 (0 light years away)
  • Length = 153 Mpc (500 million light years)
The Laniakea Supercluster is the supercluster that contains the Virgo Cluster, Local Group, and by extension our galaxy, the Milky Way.[3]
Virgo Supercluster
  • z=0.000 (0 light years away)
  • Length = 33 Mpc (110 million light years)
It contains the Local Group with our galaxy, the Milky Way. It also contains the Virgo Cluster near its center, and is sometimes called the Local Supercluster. It is thought to contain over 47,000 galaxies.

In 2014, the newly announced Laniakea Supercluster subsumed the Virgo Supercluster, which became a component of the new supercluster.[4]

Hydra-Centaurus Supercluster It is composed of two lobes, sometimes also referred to as superclusters, or sometimes the entire supercluster is referred to by these other two names
  • Hydra Supercluster
  • Centaurus Supercluster

In 2014, the newly announced Laniakea Supercluster subsumed the Hydra-Centaurus Supercluster, which became a component of the new supercluster.[4]

Perseus-Pisces Supercluster
Pavo-Indus Supercluster

In 2014, the newly announced Laniakea Supercluster subsumed the Pavo-Indus Supercluster, which became a component of the new supercluster.[4]

Coma Supercluster Forms most of the CfA Homunculus, the center of the CfA2 Great Wall galaxy filament
Sculptor Superclusters SCl 9
Hercules Superclusters SCl 160
Leo Supercluster SCl 93
Ophiuchus Supercluster
  • 17h 10m −22°
  • cz=8500–9000 km/s (centre)
  • 18 Mpc x 26 Mpc
Forming the far wall of the Ophiuchus Void, it may be connected in a filament, with the Pavo-Indus-Telescopium Supercluster and the Hercules Supercluster. This supercluster is centered on the cD cluster Ophiuchus Cluster, and has at least two more galaxy clusters, four more galaxy groups, several field galaxies, as members.[5]
Shapley Supercluster
  • z=0.046.(650 Mly away)
The second supercluster found, after the Local Supercluster.

Distant superclusters

Galaxy supercluster Data Notes
Pisces-Cetus Supercluster
Boötes Supercluster SCl 138
Horologium Supercluster
z=0.063 (700 Mly)
Length = 550 Mly
The entire supercluster is referred to as the Horologium-Reticulum Supercluster
Corona Borealis Supercluster
Columba Supercluster
Aquarius Supercluster
Aquarius B Supercluster
Aquarius-Capricornus Supercluster
Aquarius-Cetus Supercluster
Bootes A Supercluster
Caelum Supercluster SCl 59
Draco Supercluster
Draco-Ursa Major Supercluster
Fornax-Eridanus Supercluster
Grus Supercluster
Leo A Supercluster
Leo-Sextans Supercluster
Leo-Virgo Supercluster SCl 107
Microscopium Supercluster SCl 174
Pegasus-Pisces Supercluster SCl 3
Pisces Supercluster SCl 24
Pisces-Aries Supercluster
Ursa Major Supercluster
Virgo-Coma Supercluster SCl 111

Far distant superclusters

Galaxy supercluster Data Notes
Lynx Supercluster z=1.27 Discovered in 1999[6] (as ClG J0848+4453, a name now used to describe the western cluster, with ClG J0849+4452 being the eastern one),[7] it contains at least two clusters RXJ 0848.9+4452 (z=1.26) and RXJ 0848.6+4453 (z=1.27) . At the time of discovery, it became the most distant known supercluster.[8] Additionally, seven smaller groups of galaxies are associated with the supercluster.[9]
SCL @ 1338+27 at z=1.1



A rich supercluster with several galaxy clusters was discovered around an unusual concentration of 23 QSOs at z=1.1 in 2001. The size of the complex of clusters may indicate a wall of galaxies exists there, instead of a single supercluster. The size discovered approaches the size of the CfA2 Great Wall filament. At the time of the discovery, it was the largest and most distant supercluster beyond z=0.5 [10][11]
SCL @ 1604+43 at z=0.9 z=0.91 This supercluster at the time of its discovery was the largest supercluster found so deep into space, in 2000. It consisted of two known rich clusters and one newly discovered cluster as a result of the study that discovered it. The then known clusters were Cl 1604+4304 (z=0.897) and Cl 1604+4321 (z=0.924), which then known to have 21 and 42 known galaxies respectively. The then newly discovered cluster was located at 16h 04m 25.7s, +43° 14′ 44.7″[12]
SCL @ 0018+16 at z=0.54 in SA26 z=0.54 This supercluster lies around radio galaxy 54W084C (z=0.544) and is composed of at least three large clusters, CL 0016+16 (z=0.5455), RX J0018.3+1618 (z=0.5506), RX J0018.8+1602 .[13]
MS 0302+17



This supercluster has at least three member clusters, the eastern cluster CL 0303+1706, southern cluster MS 0302+1659 and northern cluster MS 0302+1717.[14]


Proto Galaxy Supercluster Data Notes


A diagram of Earth's location in the observable Universe and neighbouring superclusters of galaxies. (Click here for smaller image.)

See also


  1. ^ "An Intergalactic Heavyweight". ESO Picture of the Week. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Hu, F. X. et al. (2006). "Orientation of Galaxies in the Local Supercluster: A Review".  
  3. ^ Earth's new address: 'Solar System, Milky Way, Laniakea' / Nature
  4. ^ a b c R. Brent Tully, Helene Courtois, Yehuda Hoffman, Daniel Pomarède (2 September 2014). "The Laniakea supercluster of galaxies". Nature (4 September 2014) 513 (7516): 71.  
  5. ^ Hasegawa, T. et al. (2000). "Large-scale structure of galaxies in the Ophiuchus region".  
  6. ^ Rosati, P. et al (1999). "An X-Ray-Selected Galaxy Cluster at z = 1.26".  
  7. ^ "Lynx Supercluster".  
  8. ^ Nakata, F. et al. (2004). "Discovery of a large-scale clumpy structure of the Lynx supercluster at z∼1.27".  
  9. ^ Ohta, K. et al. (2003). "Optical Identification of the ASCA Lynx Deep Survey: An Association of Quasi-Stellar Objects and a Supercluster at z = 1.3?".  
  10. ^ Tanaka, I. (2004). "Studies of Galaxies in the Young Universe with New Generation Telescope, Proceedings of Japan-German Seminar, held in Sendai, Japan, July 24–28, 2001". pp. 61–64.  
  11. ^ Tanaka, I.; Yamada, T.; Turner, E. L.; Suto, Y. (2001). "Superclustering of Faint Galaxies in the Field of a QSO Concentration at z ~ 1.1".  
  12. ^ Lubin, L. M. et al. (2000). "A Definitive Optical Detection of a Supercluster at [CLC][ITAL]z[/ITAL][/CLC] ≈ 0.91".  
  13. ^ Connolly, A. J. et al. (1996). "Superclustering at Redshift [CLC][ITAL]z[/ITAL] = 0.54[/CLC]".  
  14. ^ University of Hawaii, "The MS0302+17 Supercluster", Nick Kaiser. Retrieved 15 September 2009.

External links

  • Overview of local superclusters
  • The Nearest Superclusters
  • Universe family tree: Supercluster

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