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Matrix Software > Learng Astrology > Astrophysical Directions > External Galaxies > Clustering

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Back to External Galaxies   |   Back to Astrophysical Direction 

Clustering among Galaxies

Thus galaxies tend to occur in small intense knots, the knots in clusters, and the clusters in larger clusters, and so on until vast clouds of clusters are formed.

The general kinds of grouping look like this:

  • A Cluster contains hundreds or even thousands of galaxies with a marked tendency to concentrate toward some center in the clusters.

  • A Group of galaxies contains several, perhaps up to 100 members but these groups do not show any marked concentration toward a center.

  • A Cloud of galaxies is just a large group containing hundreds or thousands of members gathered together in an irregular structure with no definite concentration toward a center.

  • A Cloud of Groups is a distribution of galaxies containing many groups in which the concentration of galaxies in the spaces between the groups is larger than the concentration of galaxies in the general field.

  • A Cloud of Galaxies is the largest agglomeration of matter so far known to us, Supergalaxy or Metagalaxy. There are double clusters, triple clusters and so on. Large bodies of this type may contain as many as 100,000 member galaxies.

The nearest groups of galaxies to our local group are the M.81 group of galaxies and the Sculptor group near the galactic south pole. A table of most of the major clusters and groups within 12-15 megaparsecs of our position is given elsewhere. Almost all of these clusters occur between us and the very large cluster of galaxies in Virgo at a distance of some 50 million light years from us (15.3 Mpc). A more or less dense cloud of galaxies extends from the Virgo cluster to about our own position and our local group may be considered to be a minor irregularity or secondary agglomeration near the very edge of the system of galaxies which is ellipsoidally distributed around the center of the Virgo cluster, the local supergalaxy.

Copyright (c) 1997-99 Michael Erlewine


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