What is “The Great Attractor” in Astrophysics?

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What is “The Great Attractor” in Astrophysics?

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4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The Great Attractor is a region of space that seems to be pulling nearby galaxies towards it.

The mystery is, we don’t see anything there that would have mass to gravitationally pull things towards it.

It is likely a large clump of dark matter, which we can’t see, but it has mass, and therefore gravity.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Its a point in our galaxy’s supercluster (a structure made of about 100,000 galaxies) that acts as the center of gravity for the entire thing. It’s a lot like how the sun is the center of gravity for our solar system, except a lot bigger.

Its probably made up of a lot of galaxies packed very densely into a small area.

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

Our galaxy, The Milky Way, is part of a “supercluster” of galaxies with something like 100,000 galaxies in it. We can observe a lot of those galaxies, and it looks like all of them (including us) are being gravitationally attracted to something really massive in the middle of them, about 150 – 250 million light years away from us.

Unfortunately, whatever it is, it’s right *through* the Milky Way from where the Earth is right now. So we can’t see what it is because all of the other stars and gas and black holes in our galaxy is between us and it. Thus, we’ve given it the name “The Great Attractor” because we can’t actually see what it is, only the affect it has on galaxies around us. Eventually the Solar System will rotate around to the other side of the Milky Way and we’ll be able to see it, but that’s in like 125,000 years, so I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for that.

Imagine a drain at the bottom of a cloudy lake. You can see there’s a big whirlpool on top because stuff is spinning around. But you can’t see the drain, itself — just the effect it has. The Great Attractor isn’t literally a drain — nothing is in danger of falling into it, at least not from this far away. But it’s similar in that we can see the effect and deduce that something is there, but still have no idea what it actually *is*.