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Large Scale Structure in the Universe - Windows to the Universe

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The Coma Cluster of Galaxies
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Courtesy of NASA.

Large-Scale Structure: Your Place in the Universe

We have seen that stars cluster together to form galaxies. Galaxies also like to live together. There are clusters of galaxies called Groups which contain 10's of galaxies. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way lives in a group of about 30 galaxies, named the Local Group.

There are much larger clusters of galaxies that contain from 50 - 1000's of galaxies. Groups and Clusters live together to form even larger clusters known as Superclusters. The Local Group belongs to the Local Supercluster. In between Superclusters are enormous voids of space where there are almost no galaxies at all.

The Largest structures discovered in the Universe are systems of voids and clusters. At this scale the Universe looks foamy. The voids look like huge bubbles. Galaxies line these bubbles forming filaments that connect Superclusters.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF