Viewport width =
February 22, 2015 | by  | in Science |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Earth Isolated From Popular Parts of the Universe

They say that for every grain of sand in the world, there should be 100 Earth-like planets in the universe. So why haven’t we encountered alien life forms? One possible answer could come from the recent successes scientists have had in extending the boundaries of our cosmic map by plotting the position of our galaxy among our many neighbouring galaxies.

Looking out from our little blue planet, we see around 2500 different stars on a good night. This might seem huge, but it’s only 1 per cent of our galaxy, the Milky Way. And our galaxy is just one of many. The universe is an intricate web of galaxies, with some parts empty dark voids, and other parts dense with galaxies, called superclusters.

Brent Tully and his team at the University of Hawaii have created a map of the supercluster that includes our Milky Way galaxy. This enormous supercluster has been named Laniakea, Hawaiian for ‘immeasurable heaven’, a fitting name for a community millions of light-years across.

But what is most interesting about this cosmic map is our position. Earth and the Milky Way exist right at the farthest reaches of the Laniakea supercluster, with a blue void between us and parts dense with galaxies. Essentially, Earth is right at the end of the last cul-de-sac in the most boring part of town. Maybe we haven’t met anyone passing by because no one can be bothered driving all the way to our place.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. Your silent cries left unheard
  2. How it Works: On the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill
  3. Is Vic Books Missing Out on the Living Wage Campaign?
  4. Jesus Christ Super-Nah, Saviour’s New Political Party May Need Miracle
  5. Issue 12 – Friendship
  6. SWAT: Friendship Column
  7. Inevitable Entanglement
  8. HOROSCOPE WEEK OF JUNE 3: FRIENDSHIP
  9. Liquid Knowledge: On Israel and Palestine
  10. An Ode to the Aunties

Editor's Pick

Burnt Honey

: First tutorial of the year. When I open the door, I underestimate my strength, thinking it to be all used up in my journey here. It swings open violently and I trip into the room where awkward gazes greet me. Frozen, my legs are lead and I’m stuck on display for too long. My ov