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Our Milky Way is by no means a small galaxy. But that hasn’t stopped it from being pushed and pulledwith help from the huge space void situated in our extragalactic neighborhood.
Space still has many mysteries left to reveal. And its “void” spaces are raising some of the biggest questions. This has become especially true over these past few days. A team of researchers has come with a new theory. And this points out the effect this void could be having on the Milky Way.
Research was carried out by Hebrew University in Jerusalem researchers. The studies were led by Professor Yehuda Hoffman. A paper on the matter was released earlier this week. It was published in the Nature Astronomy journal. Available online since January 30, it was titled as follows. “The dipole repeller”.
The titular dipole repeller is the aforementioned void. Previous theories held that the Milky Way is being pushed. This force would have led it towards the universe’s denser regions. However, such theories may lack an element.
The Milky Way is not only getting pushed. It is also getting pulled.
The previously known high-density cluster of stars to do so is called the Shapley Concentration. This is the largest neighboring concentration of galaxies. Together, they form a gravitationally interacting unit. As such, this helps pull it together. If not, the galaxies would have dispersed throughout space.
The Shapley Concentration is situated some 150 million light years away. And it is not only keeping itself together. It is also attracting the Milky Way towards it. And any other neighboring galaxies as well.
However, this recent studies shows that the Milky Way is also being pushed towards it. As its name may suggest, the Dipole Repeller is pushing back on our system. This huge “dead zone” is situated some 500 million light years away.
The Milky Way and its local galaxy group are being repelled by the huge void. As such, the researchers theorize as follows. This low-density space void is also shifting the neighboring galaxies.
Its effects are now believed to combine with the Shapley Concentration. Taken together, the two could be influencing the movement of our Local Group of galaxies. The term “dipolar” also draws attention to this fact. It points out the push and pull relation.
Research on the matter was based on data gathered by powerful telescopes. The Hubble Telescope is one such example. Study scientists took such data and created 3D models of the Milky Way.
This space map helped them chart the flow of space matter. It registered its movements from low to high-density regions. These results confirmed the following facts.
The Milky Way is moving away from the dipole void region. And it is headed towards the Shapley SuperCluster.
And our galaxy is responding quite fast. It is presently speeding away from the previously unidentified low-density region. Its fast movement is also helped along by the known gravitational attraction.
The push and pull relation became quite apparent after this latest discovery. And according to the researchers, both phenomena are of comparable importance. They both play a part in the Milky Way’s location.
Now, scientists are hoping to better understand our local cluster’s movement. Especially so in the expanding universe. Future ultra-sensitive devices should help shed more light on the void. They could potentially detect any galaxy residing in the area. They could also help strengthen the link between the great void and the Dipole Repeller theory.
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