Author Topic: Astronomy: The Laniakea Supercluster  (Read 881 times)

Highwhistler

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Astronomy: The Laniakea Supercluster
« on: December 20, 2015, 02:19:02 AM »
"It is not only one of the largest structures known -- it is our home. The just-identified Laniakea Supercluster contains thousands of galaxies that includes the Milky Way." -- Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)

A typical galaxy like the Milky Way has 100 to 400 billion stars. A galaxy is not alone as it is connected to nearby galaxies, and they travel through space in groups. Groups of galaxies are interconnected to one another -- called Superclusters. A run-of-the-mill Supercluster might be composed of 100,000 galaxies.

Our home -- including you, everyone you've ever known, all of humankind, forests, oceans, the Earth, our sun, the Milky Way galaxy -- are a miniscule part of the grand Laniakea Supercluster. Like all Superclusters, Laniakea is made up of thousands of galaxies, all of them interconnected and traveling through cosmic space and time in beautiful threads, as One:
 
APOD on Sept 10, 2014
 
Astronomers gave our supercluster the Hawaiian name Laniakea ... meaning "immense heaven."

Within the heart of Laniakea, there is a gravitational focal point in intergalactic space, called the Great Attractor, that holds the entire Supercluster together and influences the motions of the thousands of galaxies composing it.

Please watch this fascinating short video on Laniakea, made by the astronomers who discovered it. Try to wrap your heart and head around what they are saying:

VIDEO: The Laniakea Supercluster, (1 minute 40 seconds)
 
It is fascinating that the structure and energy flows of Laniakea ... brings to mind the structure and energy flows of the human brain's neural networks, symbolically-speaking.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 02:27:36 AM by Highwhistler »