Astronomers map vast void in our cosmic neighborhood

phys.org | 7/22/2019 | Staff
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An astronomer from the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy (IfA) and an international team published a new study that reveals more of the vast cosmic structure surrounding our Milky Way galaxy.

The universe is a tapestry of galaxy congregations and vast voids. In a new study being reported in The Astrophysical Journal, Brent Tully's team applies the same tools from an earlier study to map the size and shape of an extensive empty region they called the Local Void that borders the Milky Way galaxy. Using the observations of galaxy motions, they infer the distribution of mass responsible for that motion, and construct three-dimensional maps of our local Universe.

Galaxies - Expansion - Universe - Tug - Neighbors

Galaxies not only move with the overall expansion of the universe, they also respond to the gravitational tug of their neighbors and regions with a lot of mass. As a consequence, they are moving towards the densest areas and away from regions with little mass—the voids.

Although we live in a cosmic metropolis, back in 1987 Tully and Richard Fisher noted that our Milky Way galaxy is also at the edge of an extensive empty region that they called the Local Void. The existence of the Local Void has been widely accepted, but it remained poorly studied because it lies behind the center of our galaxy and is therefore heavily obscured from our view.

Team

Now, Tully and his team have...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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