The Great Attractor

The Night Sky in April shows Virgo and further away the location of a mysterious area, the Great Attractor and we are traveling towards it amazingly fast: with the speed of 14 million mph!

Above The Great Attractor from Laniakea- our home supercluster in Cosmos

Great Attractor is not a gigantic black hole, but we along with the Andromeda galaxy and about 50 others, are attracted from it. There’s something out there SO massive that it’s pulling on every object within hundreds of millions of light years.

The Great Attractor is a gravity anomaly in intergalactic space within the vicinity of the Hydra-Centaurus Supercluster at the center of the Laniakea Supercluster that reveals the existence of a localized concentration of mass tens of thousands of times more massive than the Milky Way. This mass is observable by its effect on the motion of galaxies and their associated clusters over a region hundreds of millions of light-years across.

Virgo on April's Night SkyVirgo. Image screenshot from Stellarium

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 Virgo Super cluster of GalaxiesThe Hubble Telescope turned its lens to the region of the sky where the Great Attractor is located. Credit NASA/Hubble