Turns Out We Live in the Laniakea Galactic Supercluster | Smart News | Smithsonian
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Turns Out We Live in the Laniakea Galactic Supercluster

Add another line to your celestial address: Astronomers just found out we live in the Laniakea Galactic Supercluster

smithsonian.com

Astronomers have just added one more layer to the Earth's celestial address. You can now find us at:

Planet Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Group, Virgo Supercluster, Laniakea Galactic Supercluster

That last bit, the Laniakea Galactic Supercluster, was only recently defined, but it's the broadest galactic cluster to which our small planet belongs. According to a release from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory:

“We have finally established the contours that define the supercluster of galaxies we can call home,” said lead researcher R. Brent Tully, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “This is not unlike finding out for the first time that your hometown is actually part of much larger country that borders other nations.”

In the video above, Nature explains how, like the division between two watersheds, the boundary was determined between the Laniakea supercluster and our nearest neighbor.

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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