Cosmic map shows Milky Way at the edge of a supercluster

Sep 4, 2014

Nature highlights the research of R. Brent Tully et al, which defines a supercluster called Laniakea. A supercluster is like a network of galaxies, and according to this work, the Milky Way is at the edge of this one.

From the abstract:

Here we report a map of structure made using a catalogue of peculiar velocities. We find locations where peculiar velocity flows diverge, as water does at watershed divides, and we trace the surface of divergent points that surrounds us. Within the volume enclosed by this surface, the motions of galaxies are inward after removal of the mean cosmic expansion and long range flows. We define a supercluster to be the volume within such a surface, and so we are defining the extent of our home supercluster, which we call Laniakea.

See the full paper here [pdf].


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