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Welcome to our home supercluster, Laniakea

“Measurable heaven.” That’s the name of our home supercluster, Laniakea, in Hawaiian.

The Milky Way itself is part of larger portion of the universe known as a supercluster, the largest known structures in the universe.

Nature explains how scientists determined these mega-neighborhoods existed and how they define the boundaries between our cluster and the next.

Discounting cosmic expansion, their map shows flow lines down which galaxies creep under the effect of gravity in their local region (see video). Based on this, the team defines the edge of a supercluster as the boundary at which these flow lines diverge. On one side of the line, galaxies flow towards one gravitational centre; beyond it, they flow towards another. “It’s like water dividing at a watershed, where it flows either to the left or right of a height of land,” says [University of Hawaii astronomer Brent] Tully.

Full story at Nature via Cool Infographics.

Space ‘hoods.

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  • Phil Henderson

    “Immeasurable heaven”. not what is stated in this brief, not very informative, statement.

  • michael59

    I liked it and found it informative myself. Where does dark energy figure into this super cluster? Personally I don’t think the Universe is or has ever expanded, moving yes. I like how they call it the great attractor. To me Gravity and time are different yet of the same thing. They both are compelled into a direction that cannot be reversed.

    Kind of like time broke in the middle somewhere and one part of time heads towards the future while the other part heads towards the past thus giving space the appearance of expanding. Now if gravity is of the same thing and what we see is a accretion disk or a coalescence of matter then what about the matter that we don’t see. Gravity or rather the absence of gravity would be tangled with the time that is heading towards the past. We would know it is there but we could not find it, touch it or measure it because basically we are already in it.

    Yeah, like I can prove all that.