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Laniakea Supercluster

For other uses, see [[Laniakea (disambiguation)#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Laniakea]].
Laniakea Supercluster
Map of galaxies within the nearby universe. Laniakea is the part circled. The arrowed point marked by the Russian "Вы здесь" ("you are here") is the Milky Way.
Observation data (Epoch J2000)
Constellation(s) Triangulum Australe and Norma (centre)
Right ascension 10h 32m
Declination −46° 00′
(Great Attractor)
Brightest member Milky Way (mag -5.0)
Number of clusters 300 – 500
Major axis Script error: No such module "convert". hScript error: No such module "Su".
(Hubble constant based on Planck data)
Redshift 0.0708 (centre)
Script error: No such module "convert". hScript error: No such module "Su". (centre)
(Hubble constant based on Planck data)
Binding mass 1×1017[1] M
Other designations
Local Supercluster, Laniakea, Laniakea Supercluster, Laniakea Complex
See also: Galaxy groups, Galaxy clusters, List of superclusters

The Laniakea Supercluster (Laniakea; also called Local Supercluster or Local SCl) is the galaxy supercluster that is home to the Milky Way, our galaxy, and therefore to the Solar System and the Earth.[2] It was defined in September 2014, when a group of astronomers including R. Brent Tully of the University of Hawaii and Helene Courtois of the University of Lyon published a new way of defining superclusters according to the relative velocities of galaxies. The new definition of the local supercluster subsumes the prior defined local supercluster, the Virgo Supercluster, now an appendage.[3][4][5][6]


The Laniakea Supercluster encompasses 100,000 galaxies stretched out over Script error: No such module "convert".. It has the approximate binding mass of 1017 solar masses, or a hundred thousand times that of our Galaxy, which is almost the same as that of the massive Horologium Supercluster. It consists of four subparts, which are known previously as separate superclusters:

The most massive galaxy clusters of Laniakea are Virgo, Hydra, Centaurus, Abell 3565, Abell 3574, Abell 3521, Fornax, Eridanus and Norma. The entire supercluster consists of approximately 300 to 500 known galaxy clusters and groups. The real number may be much larger, because some of these are transversing the Zone of Avoidance, making them essentially undetectable.

Superclusters are some of the universe’s largest structures, and have boundaries that are difficult to define, especially from the inside. The team used radio telescopes to map the motions of a large collection of local galaxies. Within a given supercluster, most galaxy motions will be directed inward, toward the center of mass. In the case of Laniakea, this gravitational focal point is called the Great Attractor, and influences the motions of our Local Group of galaxies (where our Milky Way Galaxy resides) and all others throughout our supercluster.[5]

Discovery method

The new method used to analyze galaxy movements to distinguish peculiar motion from cosmic expansion is Wiener filtering, which works for well defined positional information, allowing analysis out to about Script error: No such module "convert"., showing flow patterns. With this limitation, Laniakea is shown to be heading in the direction of the Shapley Supercluster, so both Shapley and Laniakea may be part of a greater complex.[7]

South African astronomer Tony Fairall stated in 1988 that redshifts suggested that the Virgo and Hydra-Centaurus Superclusters may be connected.[8]


The neighbouring superclusters to Laniakea are the Shapley Supercluster, Hercules Supercluster, Coma Supercluster, Perseus-Pisces Supercluster. The edges of these superclusters and Laniakea are not clearly known at the time of Laniakea's definition.[4]


The name laniakea means "immeasurable heaven" in Hawaiian, from lani for "heaven" and akea for "spacious" or "immeasurable". The name was suggested by Nawa'a Napoleon, an associate professor of Hawaiian language at Kapiolani Community College. The name honors Polynesian navigators who used heavenly knowledge to navigate the Pacific Ocean.[3][7]

See also


  1. ^ "The Milky Way's 'City' Just Got a New Name". CityLab. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "The road map to the Universe". DailyMail UK. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Newly identified galactic supercluster is home to the Milky Way". National Radio Astronomy Observatory (ScienceDaily). 3 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Irene Klotz (3 September 2014). "New map shows Milky Way lives in Laniakea galaxy complex". Reuters. ScienceDaily. 
  5. ^ a b Elizabeth Gibney (3 September 2014). "Earth's new address: 'Solar System, Milky Way, Laniakea'". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2014.15819. 
  6. ^ Quenqua, Douglas (3 September 2014). "Astronomers Give Name to Network of Galaxies". New York Times. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Camille M. Carlisle (3 September 2014). "Laniakea: Our Home Supercluster". Sky and Telescope. 
  8. ^ Fairall, Anthony Patrick (1988). "A redshift map of the Triangulum Australe-Ara region – Further indication that Centaurus and Pavo are one and the same supercluster". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 230 (1): 69–77. Bibcode:1988MNRAS.230...69F. doi:10.1093/mnras/230.1.69. 

Further reading

External links