Questions for your students:


     Where do we fit in our universe?

     How is our cosmic address changing?

     How does The Great Attractor work?

     How was The Great Attractor formed?


Detail about our new address:


The pale blue dot, Terra (known as Earth), is located in the Sol system, in the Orion Spur off of the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way.  Our cosmic address is consistently growing as the universe is expands. We are also consistently redefining our local clusters and super clusters and what boundaries mean for these clusters. The Milky Way for the longest time was considered just apart of the Virgo Super Cluster (VSC). However more and more observations have opened up a clearer map of how the VSC fits into its surroundings. The VSC is now considered apart of a much grander super cluster known as Laniakea. Laniakea is Hawaiian for “Immense Heaven” and consists of 100,000 galaxies and is about 540 million light years across.


The Laniakea super cluster is now defined as a structure because the behavior of the galaxies within it are behaving uniformly.  Galaxies, including the Milky Way, are traveling towards the center of Laniakea in a watershed like behavior. Bounded in a three dimensional plane, galaxies are located in regions where they accelerate towards the closest central point.  The location where the galaxies are accelerating to is called The Great Attractor.  Scientists do not know how this phenomenon works but it is not special to Laniakea but to other super clusters around Laniakea like Pisces Perseus, Coma, and SGY. The video embedded below goes into better detail about this phenomenon.


The video below goes into more detail on our new cosmic address.