‘The great attractor’: Astronomers discover force driving galaxies in common direction



NEW DELHI: Scientists studying the vast expanse of space and its myriad galaxies have uncovered that a colossal gravitational anomaly, dubbed “The Great Attractor,” is exerting an irresistible force, pulling the galactic neighborhood and its counterparts at a staggering speed of 600 km/s or 1.3 million miles per hour. Researchers have observed 400 elliptical galaxies moving towards an unseen entity in the “Zone of Avoidance,” an obscured region hidden by our own galaxy’s galactic plane and cosmic dust.
Astronomers, while unable to visually identify the enigmatic force, have detected a massive gravitational influence compelling numerous galaxies towards an unseen mass. The discovery, reported in IFL Science, poses a compelling mystery for the scientific community which is investigating the nature of The Great Attractor.
Delving into the methodology of measuring intergalactic distances, the roots trace back to 1929 when astronomer Edwin Hubble, hailed as a “pioneer of the distant stars,” observed that distant galaxies appeared redder than their nearby counterparts. This phenomenon, known as redshift, enabled scientists to gauge distances to galaxies beyond conventional measurement methods. The correlation between the degree of redshift and a galaxy’s distance provided a groundbreaking tool for understanding the expansive nature of the universe.
The implications of Hubble’s redshift observation extended beyond mere distance measurement. It led to the revelation that galaxies generally move away from each other, offering supporting evidence for the concept of an expanding universe. This cosmic expansion, revealed by the reddening of distant galaxies, indicated that gravitational forces bind close entities while those farther apart experience a relative outward motion.
In 2014, a collaborative effort involving researchers from the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Institut de Physique Nucleaire in Lyon, France, and Hebrew University in Jerusalem discovered that the Milky Way resides within the Virgo Supercluster and likely belongs to a larger structure encompassing around 100,000 galaxies. They proposed the term “Laniakea Supercluster” to describe this vast cosmic congregation, drawing inspiration from the Hawaiian words “lani” (heaven) and “akea” (spacious, immeasurable).
Contrary to fears of The Great Attractor swallowing our world, scientists assure that it serves as a central gravitational focal point for our local universe. The ongoing expansion of the universe, however, will eventually override the influence of such superclusters, causing galaxies to drift apart. So, while the force remains unseen, it won’t consume our world. Instead, the inexorable expansion of the cosmos will eventually sever our connection to The Great Attractor and its cosmic allure, mirroring the fate of other distant superclusters.





Source link

NEW DELHI: Scientists studying the vast expanse of space and its myriad galaxies have uncovered that a colossal gravitational anomaly, dubbed “The Great Attractor,” is exerting an irresistible force, pulling the galactic neighborhood and its counterparts at a staggering speed of 600 km/s or 1.3 million miles per hour. Researchers have observed 400 elliptical galaxies…

NEW DELHI: Scientists studying the vast expanse of space and its myriad galaxies have uncovered that a colossal gravitational anomaly, dubbed “The Great Attractor,” is exerting an irresistible force, pulling the galactic neighborhood and its counterparts at a staggering speed of 600 km/s or 1.3 million miles per hour. Researchers have observed 400 elliptical galaxies…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *