Through the thick fog of our own galaxy, astronomers have spotted an ultimate prize: one of the largest-known structures in the Universe. Called the Vela supercluster, the newly discovered object is a massive group of several galaxy clusters, each one containing hundreds or thousands of galaxies. …
Kraan-Korteweg and her team published their discovery of the supercluster, named after the constellation Vela where it was found, in the Monthly Notices Letters of the Royal Astronomical Society. …
It may be hard to believe that such a huge object could go unnoticed, but it makes more sense when you consider where we all live.
The Milky Way is our expansive galactic home. It hosts more than 100 billion stars, trillions of planets, and colourful clouds of gas and dust.
This makes for a brilliant playground to study individual objects, like black holes, the formation of alien solar systems, or potentially habitable extrasolar planets.
But if you’re an astronomer trying to peer beyond the Milky Way and into the deeper Universe, all of this stuff is in your way…
When they say “our galaxy” they mean our current galaxy. Our solar system seems to have come from the Sagitarius Dwarf galaxy.
Have you ever looked at the sky at night and found the famous band of stars called the Milky Way? Probably, but did you notice it’s tilted at an angle? Well, this thing really puzzled astronomers for quite some time.
That’s because what you saw is actually our galaxy itself, seen from the side. The classical maps of the galaxy place our solar system in one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy. However, we ought to be oriented to the galaxy’s ecliptic, with the planets aligned around our Sun in much the same angle as our Sun aligns with the Milky Way.
Now, a team of astronomers at universities of Virginia and Massachusetts used a supercomputer to come up with a strange answer to the question: why are we tilted in the galaxy?
Our solar system comes from another galaxy!
They used volumes of data from the Two-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), a major project to survey the sky in infrared light led by the University of Massachusetts and discovered that our galaxy is in fact cannibalizing a smaller neighbor, the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy.
Although it is one of the closest companion galaxies to the Milky Way, the main parent cluster is on the opposite side of the galactic core from Earth and consequently is very faint, although it covers a large area of the sky.
Milky Way is currently absorbing the dwarf galaxy, 10,000 times smaller in mass, which is getting stretched out, torn apart and gobbled up by our bigger galaxy. The stars in the Sagittarius form a cosmic spaghetti noodle wrapping itself around the Milky Way.
The really big news is the fact that our solar system is located at the exact nexus crossroads where two galaxies are actually joining. This would explain the odd angle at which we see the Milky Way in the sky, at night, meaning that our Sun is influenced by some other system.
Our current understanding: About 5 billion years ago, forces caused a cloud of dust and gas to form a rotating disk. When enough matter was finally present, nuclear fusion began when hydrogen atoms fused into helium atoms.
A substantial energy barrier of electrostatic forces must be overcome before fusion can occur. At large distances, two naked nuclei repel one another because of the repulsive electrostatic force between their positively charged protons. If two nuclei can be brought close enough together, however, the electrostatic repulsion can be overcome by the quantum effect in which nuclei can tunnel through columb forces. Link
This fusion created our sun which then gobbled up 99.8% of all nearby matter in the cloud. Clumps of matter not gobbled up became planets, moons, asteroids and comets.
A few other things happened, and now you are reading or hearing this message.