Great Attractor


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Great Attractor

A large concentration of mass that is detectable only by its powerful gravitational pull on our Galaxy and its Local Supercluster. Redshift surveys in the late 1980s revealed that the peculiar motion of the Local Group relative to the microwave background was not due solely to the gravitational effect of the Virgo cluster, but also to large-scale structure just beyond the Hydra–Centaurus supercluster in the southern sky.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006

Great Attractor

[¦grāt ə′trak·tər]
(astronomy)
A great supercluster of galaxies and dark matter, approximately 150 × 106 light-years distant, whose existence has been hypothesized to account for the peculiar motions of galaxies, including the Milky Way Galaxy.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Three years ago, Lauer and Marc Postman of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore set out to examine in greater detail the notion that a Great Attractor or some other concentration of mass was tugging on galaxies in the so-called local group of galaxies, which includes the Milky Way.
An example of a galaxy in the nearby Universe undergoing galaxy transformation due to cluster infall is WKK6176, a jellyfish spiral galaxy near the centre of the Norma cluster at the Great Attractor (see below).
Furthermore, the Local Void's "push" is nearly perpendicular to the pulls from both Virgo and the Great Attractor. To picture the situation, you must know an amazing fact about the eight great galaxies nearest our own: Every galactic goliath within 20 million light-years of us resides in nearly the same plane (see box on page 16).
Capitalism is a huge structure very similar to the Great Attractor. It, too, has a major effect on everything going on inside it, but it is so big and so omnipresent that few see it.
In astronomy, the concept of a "great attractor" is that of an immense region in the universe of known space so full of matter that all other galaxy clusters and individual galaxies are drawn towards the attractor by the physical force of gravity.
The additional mass of these newly discovered galaxies could help explain the gravitational pull of the Great Attractor.
Massive local structures, like the Hydra-Centaurus region (the "Great Attractor") were previously hidden almost behind the Milky Way but are now shown in great detail by 2MRS.
Prof Kraan-Korteweg gave a talk at the NASSP-SAAO/SKA winter school held at the SAAO in July on "Unravelling the Mysterious Great Attractor" and Prof Whitelock gave a talk on "Astrophysics in Southern Africa".
To supply the gravitational tug that might account for such motion, the team proposed, a huge concentration of matter, dubbed the Great Attractor, must lie at least 150 million light-years from Earth (SN: 12/92, p.408).
For example, the team found extensions to the Norma Supercluster, also known as the Norma Wall or the Great Attractor. The Great Attractor is the major valley in our cosmic watershed, toward which the Milky Way and many of its neighbors are being pulled by gravity, like tributaries feeding a river.
Most still-water fisheries are stocked at the beginning of a season and the stocking truck is a great attractor to avian - and human - fishers!
Alan Dressler's Voyage to the Great Attractor is the story of one of the most interesting discoveries in extragalactic astronomy, written by one of the participants.