A bunch of galaxies that appeared to be hidden from human view was uncovered by an international team of researchers.
The new galaxies are located 250 million light years from Earth, which can be translated as a close distance, when considering astronomical terms, said the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR).
Scientists, who used CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope alongside an innovative receiver, were able to explore stars and dust situated in a region of the Milky Way that had not been explored before.
New findings would help scientists to understand how the Great Attractor region works, which is apparently drawing the Milky Way and other close galaxies, with the same gravitational force of a million billion Suns, explained the ICRAR in a press release.
883 galaxies were found by the team conducted by professor Lister Staveley-Smith from the University of Western Australia node of the ICRAR. It seems impressive that a third of the new galaxies were observed for the first time in science history.
Professor Staveley-Smith said that even when the Milky Way is very beautiful and fascinating to study, it completely blocks out the view of galaxies that are located in farther distances. As a result, the team of researchers have been trying to take a deeper look at those galaxies and undiscovered regions.
There isn’t a current theory that can accurately explain how the Great Attractor works. Researchers from the study, published on the Astronomical Journal, said that they just know that several collections of galaxies and clusters can be found in the mysterious region. It also appears that the Milky Way is attracted by the region and it is moving towards it at more than two million kilometers per hour, added professor Smith.
“An average galaxy contains 100 billion stars, so finding hundreds of new galaxies hidden behind the Milky Way points to a lot of mass we didn’t know about until now.” said University of Cape Town astronomer Professor Renée Kraan-Korteweg, who explained that for almost 50 years, scientists have been trying to analyze the distribution of galaxies that are located behind our galaxy.
The team of researchers was composed by astronomers and several scientists from Australia, South Africa, the U.S. and the Netherlands. Currently, the NASA is investigating about the Great Attractor. In 2013, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope was able to capture the Norma Cluster, which lies about 220 million light-years away in the mysterious Attractor area, explained the space agency.
Source: International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research