Thursday, September 11, 2014

Laniakea Supercluster of Galaxies

Laniakea Supercluster of Galaxies
APOD has an excellent clear and compact description of a very complex and amazing structure in space shown in the picture above.
It is not only one of the largest structures known -- it is our home. The just-identified Laniakea Supercluster of galaxies contains thousands of galaxies that includes our Milky Way Galaxy, the Local Group of galaxies, and the entire nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies.

The colossal supercluster is shown in the above computer-generated visualization, where

  • green areas are rich with white-dot galaxies and 
  • white lines indicate motion towards the supercluster center. 
  • An outline of Laniakea is given in orange, while 
  • the blue dot shows our location. 
  • Outside the orange line, galaxies flow into other galatic concentrations. 

The Laniakea Supercluster spans about 500 million light years and contains about 100,000 times the mass of our Milky Way Galaxy. The discoverers of Laniakea gave it a name that means "immense heaven" in Hawaiian.

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