Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

8/17/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This should make you feel better about those extra snacks...

Question: What's the heaviest thing in the universe? Answer: SPT-CLJ2344-4243, and it weighs about 2.5 quadrillion times the mass of our sun. And it doesn't look like this heavyweight will be shedding any pounds in the near future. 

This is what the center of the heaviest thing in the universe looks like. to a space telescope.

This is what the center of the heaviest thing in the universe looks like. to a space telescope.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/17/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: galaxy cluster, Phoenix cluster, stars, astronomy, universe, creation


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - If you're still trying to get our head around that figure, don't bother because the figures are quite literally astronomical. Conversely, it should make you feel a little less guilty about the last time you skipped the gym.
 
What we're really talking about is a galaxy cluster, a grouping of galaxies that astronomers say may be the most massive yet observed. And because SPT-CLJ2344-4243 makes for a mouthful of a name, they have dubbed it the Phoenix Cluster, based on its relative location in the constellation Phoenix. 

Astronomers now know the universe has structure, much like a young man's first attempt at making mashed potatoes. It's lumpy! This unevenness however, is part of the genius to the universe's design. The universe as we know it could not exist if not for the lumpiness. 

Each lump is characterized by clusters of galaxies. Clusters are groups of galaxies that are mutually bound by gravity, distinct from other clusters. 

Our Milky Way galaxy is just one galaxy in a cluster of its own, and this is true for most galaxies - they can be grouped into clusters. Our address is in the Local Group of the Virgo Supercluster. 

The Phoenix Cluster was first discovered in 2010 at a distance of 5.7 billion light-years. The number of stars in its central galaxy exceeds 3 trillion and researchers claim to be observing stars forming at the rate of 740 or more per year in that one galaxy alone. By comparison, the Milky Way is believed to contain no more than 200 billion stars and creates one, maybe two new stars each year. 

The cluster's central galaxy is itself just one galaxy of thousands spanning a distance of 7.3 million light years across, possibly making it the largest group of objects bound by common gravity in the universe. 

Researchers care about these objects because they provide critical insights into how the universe was formed. They also give us a better understanding of how stars are formed and what processes promote rapid star formation. 

The answers to these questions both satiate our natural curiosity and provide clues to how physical processes work on Earth. The techniques used to evaluate and measure the various features of the cluster also enable us to detect and assess various conditions right here on Earth. In other words, the science isn't entirely esoteric, there is a practical side to the research.
 
Scientists hope to continue studying the Phoenix Cluster in the hopes of making more refined measurements. As their understanding increases, so too does their knowledge of the universe and what physical processes were set in motion to form it. 

In the meantime, don't feel so bad about that extra treat you enjoyed over the weekend, for no matter what you'll never weigh as much as SPT-CLJ2344-4243.

 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Technology

MARK OF THE BEAST: Microchip implants in humans becoming more viable Watch

Image of Chips are already being used to manage farm animals. Farmers can track sheep, pigs and horses as they move through a gate, weigh them instantly and make sure they are eating properly.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A microchip implanted on human beings has chilling implications, conjuring up images of the "Mark of the Beast" as mentioned in the Book of revelations. Such an accessory would certainly be a boon for a totalitarian society - but there are scientists who say ... continue reading


Google, Internet search engine - branches off with DRONE DELIVERY Watch

Image of Google engineers coupled with experts on unmanned aerial vehicles, called UAVs, safely carried out more than 30 test flights this month.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The unquestioned leader of Internet search engines, Google, has branched off into a most unexpected venture. Google is now considering delivery with drone aircraft, running its first test flights earlier this month as part of "Project Wing," a secretive, ... continue reading


What are these mysterious objects found underneath Stonehenge? Watch

Image of Using underground radar and 3D imaging technology, a new study has revealed that there are numerous monuments underneath the famous Stonehenge.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

England's iconic and mysterious Stonehenge has just revealed a new mystery, as a first-of-its-kind study suggests that 15 previously undiscovered or poorly understood monuments lie hidden under the ancient monument and the surrounding countryside. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Forget the zombie apocalypse, the ROBOT APOCALYPSE is near! Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


You'll never believe what Amazon picked up for nearly $1 billion Watch

Image of Tech giant Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million, beating out several rival competitors including Google.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Defeating tech rivals Google and Yahoo, Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million in a move announced late on August 25 which is the largest deal in Amazon's 20-year history. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The firm raised $20 ... continue reading


China bucks American tech giant Microsoft over fears of spying Watch

Image of China is creating its own operating system after blacklisting Windows 8 from government computers over fears that the American operating system could provide avenues for intelligence agencies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency announced that China is developing their own operating system for desktop computers and mobile devices, citing U.S. surveillance as one of the key factors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - China intends the new ... continue reading


Robots with an internet of their own! This is the way of the future Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


A confident Ballmer leaves Microsoft 'completely' to run the Clippers Watch

Image of Steve Ballmer has left all positions of authority at Microsoft, leaving behind the tech giant to run the Los Angeles Clippers, for which Ballmer paid a record $2 billion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Eight months after he ended his role as Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer resigned from Microsoft's board, a move that ends more than three decades of direct involvement in the world's largest software maker. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 58-year-old, who ... continue reading


Why did NASA turn the cameras off? Live feed from Space Station shows UFO, NASA cuts the feed Watch

Image of Is this evidence of a UFO? Or perhaps just venting gasses or debris from the ISS?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fans of the International Space Station got an eyeful recently when an alleged UFO appeared on NASA's live feed from the station. Curiously, the feed was interrupted as soon as the object appeared fueling rumors that NASA is engaged in a cover-up. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Have you been hacked? New report says millions of personal information has been stolen Watch

Image of Russian hackers recently gathered customer individuals from more than 420,000 websites.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Russian hackers gathered information from over 420,000 websites, both smaller sites and "household name" sites, in an attempt to gather passwords to send out spam. LOS ANGLES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hold Security, a Milwaukee-based firm, discovered the theft but ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter