Local Supercluster


Amateur Astronomer - - 宇宙奥秘 -

The structure of the universe is like a Russian matryoshka doll — each bit is nested inside a larger one. In our case, for example, Earth is a member of the solar system, which in turn is a member of the Milky Way galaxy, which is a member of a family of galaxies known as the Local Group. 宇宙的结构有点像俄罗斯套娃——每个都嵌入到另一个稍大一点的里面。以我们所在的局部宇宙为例,地球是太阳系的一部分,太阳系又转而成为银河系的一部分,而银河系又是被称为本星系群的星系结构中的一个。 And the nesting doesn’t end there. The Local Group is a member of a much larger collection of galaxies known as the Local Supercluster. It spans more than a hundred million light-years, and contains tens of thousands of galaxies. 当然,这样的嵌套并未止于此。本星系团是一个被称为本超星系团的更大星系集合的成员。本超星系团的跨度超过了一亿光年,含有成千上万的星系。 The supercluster was discovered and named more than half a century ago, by Gerard de Vaucouleurs. It’s centered roughly on the Virgo Cluster, which contains a couple of thousand galaxies. 本超星系团是在半个多世纪以前被杰拉德•德•沃库勒尔(Gerard de Vaucouleurs)发现和命名的。本超星系团大致集中于室女座星系团附近,而室女座星系团中包含了约两千个星系。 Most of the supercluster’s galaxies appear to form a flat disk, with a few in a wide halo around the disk. 本超星系团中多数星系看上去形成了一个扁平的圆盘,少数则位于围绕圆盘的广阔光晕之中。 The mass of all these galaxies is equal to a million billion Suns. But most of that mass is invisible. Instead of glowing stars and gas clouds, it consists of dark matter — material that produces no detectable energy, but that exerts a gravitational pull on the visible matter around it. It may consist of subatomic particles, although physicists have had a hard time finding them. 所有这些星系的质量与千万亿个太阳相等,但是大部分的质量是看不见的——不同于发光的恒星和气体云,它由暗物质组成。暗物质不能产生目前可被探测到的能量,但却能对其周围的可见物质施加引力。它可能由亚原子粒子组成,尽管物理学家们很难找到它们。 The nested dolls may not end with the Local Supercluster, though. A study a couple of years ago found that it may be part of an even bigger supercluster — one that spans half a billion light-years — one more layer in the structure of the universe. 当然,这些嵌套的娃娃并不是到本超星系团就截止了。几年前的一项研究发现,本超星系团也只是更大的超星系团的一部分,而这个更大的超星系团跨度有五亿光年那么大,这又是宇宙结构层次中的另外一层了。

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