This image, based on X-ray, infrared and optical data, shows the most massive cluster of galaxies ever found. Its dimensions are staggering: the diameter of the cluster is 9.6 billion light years, and its mass is equal to the masses of 4.
Having the bulky official name XDCP J0044.0-2033, the researchers called the cluster "Gioiello", which in Italian means "precious stone". This is a very suitable name for a bright cluster of galaxies, which was discovered by the NASA Chandra Observatory and the ESA XMM-Newton X-Ray Observatory.
About 6.5 million light years across, the Gioiello cluster is in the constellation of Ceta. Its approximate age is about 800 million years - which is a rather small value for such a massive cluster. For comparison, our Milky Way galaxy is about 13.4 billion years old, if not more. "Unlike clusters of galaxies that are close to us, this cluster has a lot of stars," said study co-author Joana Santos.
In combination with other recent discoveries of extremely massive and distant clusters of galaxies, such as El Gordo, located seven billion light-years from Earth, this data forces us to reconsider how the Universe developed.