The Milky Way is being propelled through space at astonishing speeds
An area of complete nothingness far away from our home, in the far flung corners of the universe, is causing our galaxy to whizz through space.
Scientists from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem state that the Milky Way is travelling at two million kilometres per hour away from an empty region which has been called the Dipole Repeller.
The team says that we are being pushed away from the Dipole Repeller, while also being pulled towards the Shapley Concentration – a concentration of millions of other galaxies.
The push of the dead zone and the pull of the cluster of galaxies is causing the Milky Way to travel as the unfathomable speed, according to the study published in Nature Astronomy.
Hoffman, Pomarede, Tully, Courtois.
An illustration of the Dipole Repeller
Lead researcher Yehuda Hoffman explained: “By 3D mapping the flow of galaxies through space, we found that our Milky Way galaxy is speeding away from a large, previously unidentified region of low density.
“Because it repels rather than attracts, we call this region the Dipole Repeller.
“In addition to being pulled towards the known Shapley Concentration, we are also being pushed away from the newly discovered Dipole Repeller.
The Milky Way is heading towards the Shapley Concentration
“Thus it has become apparent that push and pull are of comparable importance at our location.”
Experts have in the past, unsuccessfully, tried to prove the existence of the void, but it is difficult to prove the existence of a planet around five lightyears away, let-alone a region hundreds of millions of lightyears away.
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The Milky Way above Ijen Volcano, Malaysia
Team member Brent Tully from the University of Hawaii said: "There was a hint of the void from studies of the distribution of rich clusters of galaxies that emit X-rays, discussed in articles over a decade ago.
"But the statistics were not sufficient to be convincing.”
However, by studying the movements of more than 8,000 nearby galaxies, the experts were able to confirm the existence of the Dipole Repeller.