Milky Way

One of the many riddles which have been baffling the astronomers is the seemingly new zone called the Great Attractor towards which the Milky Way galaxy and other galaxy are being attracted. It seems that astronomers have finally been able to answer the riddle now.

Using powerful radio telescopes astronomers have been able to peer through the dense maze of the Milky Way Galaxy and were amazed to find an enormous galactic gathering which had escaped detection till now.

The galaxies are about 250 million light years away from us and attracting us at a blinding velocity.

The Great Attractor was once considered a gravity anomaly in the intergalactic space near the Hydra-Centaurus Supercluster at the centre of the Laniakea Supercluster.

Not much was known about the Great Attractor but the existence of a localized concentration of mass tens of thousands of times more massive than the Milky Way was long suspected.

It is a mystery why the galaxies remain hidden from astronomers. The stars and the dust in our Milky Way galaxy do block a significant part of the sky from our view.

However, Kraan-Korteweg and colleagues with the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research had a special tool at their disposal.

The Parkes telescope is a 64-meter radio telescope which has been scanning the skies since 1961.

The telescope was able to peer through gas and dust to identify structures shining in longer radio wavelength.

The team used an addition to make the radio telescope more sensitive, a special device called multibeam receiver.

The multi-beam receiver allowed the scientists them to conduct large-scale night sky surveys at a rate 13 times faster than previously possible.

The move helped then to identify 883 galaxies which included more than 240 galaxies which were never seen before.
The discovery by the team reports this week in the Astronomical Journal