Superclusters – regions of space that are densely packed with galaxies – are the biggest structures in the Universe. But scientists have struggled to define exactly where one supercluster ends and another begins. Now, a team based in Hawaii has come up with a new technique that maps the Universe according to the flow of galaxies across space. They named it Laniakea that comes from Hawaiian and means “immeasurable paradise”. (watch the video bellow)
The discovery was made with the help of a new mapping technique that combines not only the distance between neighboring galaxies, but their relative motions. The technique has allowed astronomers for the first time to clearly delineate exactly where one supercluster of galaxies ends and where another begins.
The new map shows that the Milky Way among with the Virgo galaxy cluster, and about 100,000 other galaxies are gravitationally bound in a huge cosmic body – Laniakea.
The Massive supercluster has a diameter of about 520 million light years.
Until now, scientists thought that the Milky Way – the home of the Earth and the rest of the Solar System, is part of galaxy cluster with a diameter of 100 million light years.