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Our planet is part of the larger structure of the Solar System, shaped and made stable by the force of gravity. Our Solar System is gravitationally bound to the Milky Way galaxy, along with hundreds of millions of other solar systems. And our galaxy is also part of a larger structure, where not only gravity, but the expansion of the Universe, shapes and molds that structure. For regular Universe Today readers, none of that is news.
Now a new study sheds some light on a curious part of our cosmic neighbourhood, where there is basically nothing: The Local Void.
Galaxies - Universe - Filaments - Clumps - Space
Galaxies aren’t spread evenly throughout the Universe. They form filaments and clumps throughout space. Our Milky Way galaxy is part of a group of galaxies called the Local Group. The Local Group is dominated by the Milky Way and its larger sibling, the Andromeda Galaxy. The many dwarf galaxies clinging gravitationally to the Milky Way and Andromeda round out the Local Group’s population. The Local Group itself is part of an even larger structure, called the Laniakea Super-Cluster, which contains over 100,000 galaxies.
Bordering our own galaxy is a distinct area of nothingness, known as the Local Void. The Local Void is part of the vast cosmic structure in our neighbourhood, a region bereft of galaxies (almost.) Scientists want to know more about our galactic neighbourhood, and a new study published in the Astronomical Journal maps the extent of the Local Void.
Milky - Way - Part - Local - Group
Our Milky Way is not only part of the Local Group of galaxies, it’s part of what’s called the Local Sheet. The Local Sheet is a flat array of galaxies that borders the Local Void. The Local Sheet includes not only the Milky Way, but also other members of the Local Group, and some other galaxies. The Milky Way, along with the rest...
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