Large Scale Structure of the Universe

Understanding the structure of our Universe

The distribution of galaxies in the Universe is not uniform. Astronomers use the term "cluster" of galaxies to describe a grouping of galaxies in space, linked by their mutual gravitational attraction.

The Milky Way is one of the two dominating, large in mass and large in diameter, members of our Local Group of galaxies. The thirty-some galaxies in our Local Group are just a small part of the Virgo Cluster, which includes over 1500 galaxies. Galaxy Superclusters usually consist of dozens of galaxy clusters, spread over several million light years of space.

Digitized Sky Survey image of galaxies in the Coma cluster

Labeled image of the Coma Cluster from the Digitized Sky Survey.
Credit: Space Telescope Science Institute

Continue to the redshift survey section.

© 2009 Western Kentucky University Department of Physics and Astronomy