An international team of scientists has identified seven previously unknown massive clusters of galaxies, in addition to the 12 known ones, as follows from a news release by the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute for Space Studies, obtained by TASS.

"In high redshifts, in other words, far away from us <...> we can see only the most massive clusters of galaxies in the observable Universe, which have a mass that is approximately 30,000 times larger than the mass of our own galaxy. Such objects are extremely rare. Until just recently only 12 such objects have been known," said Rodion Burenin, a researcher at the high-energy astrophysics department of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute for Space Studies.

Data collected as a result of different surveys of the sky in the optical and infrared parts of the spectrum were used in the search for the clusters of galaxies. Optical observations were made with the use of the Sayan Observatory's 1.5-meter Russian-Turkish telescope and 1.6-meter telescope, along with data from the 6-meter telescope of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Special Astrophysical Observatory. Some data came from the 3.5-meter telescope of the Calar Atlo observatory in Spain.

Clusters of galaxies are the most massive objects in the observable Universe. One of the current objectives of astrophysics is to identify and describe the largest of them.