Astronomers with the help of a very large ESO telescope found in the primordial universe a huge cluster of galaxies, formed only 2.3 billion years after the Big Bang.
The discovered proto-supercluster, called Hyperion, is the largest and most massive structure that can be found in the early emerging universe.
Its mass is estimated in billions of times the mass of the Sun.
"For the first time, such a huge structure was found with such a high redshift, just over 2 billion years after the Big Bang," said lead author Dr. Olga Kuchchati. 39, Italian astronomer.
"Usually these structures are known with the lowest redshift, which means that the Universe has had much more time to develop and create such huge things.It was unexpected to see what was developing when the Universe was rather young! "
Located in the COSMOS field of the Sesto constellation, Hyperion was discovered by analyzing a large amount of data obtained with VIMOS Ultra-deep-Survey (VUDS).
The proto-supercluster has a very complex structure, containing at least 7 high-density areas, connected by filaments of galaxies, and their size is comparable to adjacent superclusters, although it has a completely different structure.
"Superclusters close to Earth tend to have a much more concentrated mass distribution with clear structural characteristics," said Dr. Brian Leme, astronomer of the University of California, Davis.
"But in Hyperion, mass is distributed much more evenly in a series of related droplets populated by free galactic associations."
Given its size at an early stage in the history of the Universe, Hyperion should evolve into something like the enormous structures of a local Universe, such as the superclusters that make up the Great Wall of Sloane or the Supercluster Virgo that contains our Way Milky Way.
"Understanding Hyperion and its comparison with similar recent structures can provide information on how the Universe has developed in the past and will evolve in the future, and will allow us to challenge some models of supercluster training," said Dr. Cucciati.
"Unpacking this cosmic titanium helps to reveal the history of these structures on a large scale".