Are there any 'lonely galaxies'? (Beginner)

I would like to know if there is anything or any lonely galaxies between Clusters.

Yes there are galaxies that are not associated with clusters of galaxies. In the past it was thought that galaxies in groups or cluster were only a small fraction of the total number of galaxies, but now large galaxy surveys show that the situation is quite different. For example check out this image. It shows the distribution of 100,000 nearby galaxies. You can probably see that there is a lot of structure there: large groups of galaxies, filaments, and voids. This tells you that most galaxies are part of groups or clusters, or you wouldn't see such structure in the distribution of galaxies.

But there exist quite a variety of environments where galaxies can be found: from very dense clusters, to less dense clusters, small groups, and very low density regions of space. These last galaxies are what we call 'field galaxies'. They are basically galaxies that are not in gravitational systems with other galaxies. So even though there is lots of structure in the Universe, we can still find galaxies that are not part of groups or clusters. There is some interest is these galaxies, in studying the different properties they have with respect to galaxies in clusters. These are the "lonely galaxies" that are between clusters of galaxies, as you say.

This page was last updated on June 27, 2015

About the Author

Amelie Saintonge

Amelie is working on ways to detect the signals of galaxies from radio maps.

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