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Scientists spot most distant galaxy cluster

01-11-2012 12:02 BJT

BEIJING Jan. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Scientists announced the discovery of the most distant galaxy cluster ever seen in the early universe at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society held in Austin, Texas.

The newly-found galaxy cluster, El Gordo, which means "the fat one" in Spanish, is more than 7 billion light-years from Earth and two million billion times the mass of our sun, they said Tuesday.

Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in space and the Atacama Cosmology Telescope in Chile, scientists spotted this "the most massive known cluster in the distant universe."

El Gordo is currently undergoing a merger and growing period, with thousands of galaxies coming together and making it even larger, according to the scientists.

"By looking at and understanding the properties of El Gordo, we're able to understand the time evolution of the structure formation of the Universe," said Jack Hughes of Rutgers University in New Jersey, the U.S..

Scientists also hope future researches of El Gordo could help reveal the secrets of the dark matter in the universe.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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