As we continue to investigate the universe, we realize how little we know about it. The number of galaxies in the cosmos, for example, is still unknown, despite the fact that the consensus is that there are around 200,000 billion galaxies in the known universe.
However, given that we’ve only observed a small percentage of the cosmos, this number could skyrocket. The Milky Way Galaxy contains at least 400 billion stars, and the number of planets orbiting those stars is unfathomable.
In addition, the Milky Way galaxy has a diameter of 105,000 light-years and a radius of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilometers (approximately 621,371,000,000,000,000 miles). In other words, the Milky Way Galaxy is enormous, and mapping it will require much better technology and more investigation.
Scientists, on the other hand, have not been doing anything. They’ve already begun tracing the actual plane of the Milky Way in the cosmos. After collecting data from over 8,000 galaxies in the Milky Way’s neighborhood, they have a much clearer understanding of our physical, cosmic address.
Astronomers generated a map of the movement and position of each Galaxy in space. They revealed that our Milky Way galaxy is part of a huge system that connects thousands of other galaxies, known as a supercluster of Galaxies.
The Milky Way is part of a massive cosmic structure called Laniakea, which spans 500 million light-years and contains 100,000,000,000,000,000 stars spread among 100,000 150,000 galaxies. A huge number of neighboring galaxies’ movements were tracked using radio telescopes.
In Hawaiian, the term laniakea means “immense heaven,” formed from lani, which means “heaven,” and kea, which means “spacious, immeasurable.” According to the latest recent data, the Laniakea Supercluster contains approximately 100,000 galaxies spread across 160 megaparsecs (520 million light-years).
It is made up of four subparts that were formerly identified as independent superclusters:
- The Milky Way is located within the Virgo Supercluster.
- Supercluster Hydra-Centaurus
- Laniakea’s core gravitational point, near Norma, is known as the Great Attractor.
- Hydra Supercluster, also known as Antlia Wall.
- Centaurus Supercluster is a supercluster in the constellation Centaurus.
- Supercluster Pavo-Indus.
- The Fornax Cluster (S373), Dorado, and Eridanus clouds are all part of the Southern Supercluster.
Laniakea is not gravitationally bound, which means it will disperse rather than remain as an overdensity in relation to its surroundings, according to astronomers. According to astronomers, Laniakea, unlike its constituent clusters, is expected to be blasted apart by dark energy.