Friday, September 5, 2014

A map of distant galaxies? This puts it in perspective!

Whoa, and I remember when the "little blue dot" used to refer to EARTH.  Nope, here the blue dot is the entire MILKY WAY GALAXY. But this really puts all the quadrant rivalries into perspective!

(Though I hope you still find this little reference to be of help…)

By Ken Croswell at ...

If aliens ever abduct you to a galaxy far, far away, this map might help you find your way back home. Presented online today in Naturethe map spans more than 1.5 billion light-years, coloring the densest concentrations of observed galaxies red and areas with the fewest galaxies blue. 
Your home galaxy, the Milky Way, is the blue dot at the center. The red region above the Milky Way includes Virgo, the closest galaxy cluster, about 55 million light-years from Earth. The orange curve illustrates the key finding of the new work: It encircles galaxies that would fall toward one another along the curved white lines if space weren't expanding; the astronomers have named this huge assemblage Laniakea, after Hawaiian words for "spacious heaven." It is 100 quadrillion times as massive as the sun—equivalent to 100,000 Milky Ways—and stretches across more than half a billion light-years of space. 
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