MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artwork of the supercluster, Laniakea (yellow), which includes our own Milky Way. Scientists at the University of Hawaii have examined the velocities of galaxies in unprecedented detail, showing in the process that Laniakea is much bigger than originally thought. It weighs in at 100 million billion solar masses and spans over 500 million light-years of extragalactic space. Each dot in this image is a galaxy - 100, 000 in all - each containing in turn millions to trillions of stars. The contour lines are velocity flows: they indicate the direction that galaxies are moving through the supercluster under the combined gravity of all of that matter. The red dot shows the location of the Milky Way, our own galaxy, on the edge of the supercluster.
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