- Nov 9, 2012
- Reaction score
- PA, USA
http://www.businessinsider.com/the-milky-way-is-being-sucked-in-by-the-great-attractor-2016-2The Milky Way and hundreds of galaxies surrounding it are being drawn toward a mysterious force scientists call the "Great Attractor".
And it took the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) Parkes telescope to see them.
The force was first revealed back in the 1970s, when it was discovered that the Milky Way was one of hundreds of galaxies deviating from the "universe is expanding" model.
But a new receiver on the radio telescope has enabled the team to see more clearly through the fog of stars and dust crowding the outer plane of the Milky Way, where they found 883 galaxies. It's so crowded out there that it's even got a name: the "Zone of Avoidance".
A third of the galaxies had never been seen before, according to a study published on Tuesday in Astronomical Journal, and their discovery has made the trail toward the Great Attractor a little clearer.
"The Milky Way is very beautiful, of course, and it's very interesting to study our own galaxy, but it completely blocks out the view of the more distant galaxies behind it," Professor Lister Staveley-Smith, from The University of Western Australia, said.
In particular, the discovery of three galaxy concentrations — NW1, NW2, and NW3 — and two new clusters, CW1 and CW2, will help astronomers understand what the Great Attractor is and why it's pulling us toward it at an estimated 2 million kilometres per hour.