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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Keepin' It ALL Real

After reading about this last night referenced on the Saatchi website about this artist, I woke up this morning knowing that I had to post this thought again, for all of us! Some among us, keep an eye on deep, deep space! If this doesn't put life into perspective... you're sleep-walkin'!

Great Attractor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Panoramic view of the entire near-infrared sky — location of the Great Attractor is shown following the long blue arrow at bottom-right.

The Great Attractor is a gravity anomaly in intergalactic space within the range of the Centaurus Supercluster that reveals the existence of a localised concentration of mass equivalent to tens of thousands of Milky Ways, observable by its effect on the motion of galaxies and their associated clusters over a region hundreds of millions of light years across.

These galaxies are all redshifted, in accordance with the Hubble Flow, indicating that they are receding relative to us and to each other, but the variations in their redshift are sufficient to reveal the existence of the anomaly. The variations in their redshifts are known as peculiar velocities, and cover a range from about +700 km/s to -700 km/s, depending on the angular deviation from the direction to the Great Attractor.


The first indications of a deviation from uniform expansion of the universe were reported in 1973 and again in 1978. The location of the Great Attractor was finally determined in 1986, and is situated at a distance of somewhere between 150 and 250 Mly (47-79Mpc) (the latter being the most recent estimate) from the Milky Way, in the direction of the Hydra and Centaurus constellations. While objects in that direction lie in the zone of avoidance (the part of the night sky obscured by the Milky Way galaxy) and are thus difficult to study with visible wavelengths, X-ray observations have revealed that the region of space is dominated by the Norma cluster (ACO 3627),[1][2] a massive cluster of galaxies, containing a preponderance of large, old galaxies, many of which are colliding with their neighbours, and/or radiating large amounts of radio waves.

Debate over apparent mass

In 2005, astronomers conducting an X-Ray survey of the sky known as the Clusters in the Zone of Avoidance (CIZA) project reported that the Great Attractor was actually only one tenth the mass that scientists had originally estimated. The survey also confirmed earlier theories that the Milky Way galaxy was in fact being pulled towards a much more massive cluster of galaxies near the Shapley Supercluster which lies beyond the Great Attractor.[3]

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