Laniakea is a supercluster of galaxies, including our own Milky Way. It was identified and mapped by a team of astronomers led by University of Hawaii astronomer R. Brent Tully in a paper recently published in Nature. The name “Laniakea” is Hawaiian for “immeasurable heaven.”
A supercluster is a massive group of galaxies being pulled towards a common “Great Attractor.”
Superclusters – regions of space that are densely packed with galaxies – are the biggest structures in the Universe. But scientists have struggled to define exactly where one supercluster ends and another begins. Now, a team based in Hawaii has come up with a new technique that maps the Universe according to the flow of galaxies across space. Redrawing the boundaries of the cosmic map, they redefine our home supercluster and name it Laniakea, which means ‘immeasurable heaven’ in Hawaiian.