The Laniakea Supercluster (Hawaiian: Laniakea "immeasurable heaven"; lani for heaven + akea for immeasurable or spacious) is the galaxy supercluster that is home to the Milky Way, the Solar System and the Earth. It consists of three regions, which were previously designated as separate superclusters:
- Virgo Supercluster, the region where the Milky Way resides,
- Hydra-Centaurus Supercluster, which contains the Great Attractor, the Laniakea central gravitational point,
- Pavo-Indus Supercluster.
- The name Laniakea was suggested by Nawa‘a Napoleon, an associate professor of Hawaiian Language and chair of the Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature at Kapiolani Community College, a part of the University of Hawaii system. … The name honors Polynesian navigators who used knowledge of the heavens to voyage across the immensity of the Pacific Ocean.
- Astronomers have mapped the cosmic watershed in which our Milky Way Galaxy is a droplet. The massive structure, which the research team dubs the Laniakea Supercluster, extends more than 500 million light-years and contains 100,000 large galaxies.
The work, published in the September 4th Nature, is the first to trace our local supercluster on such a large scale. It also provides a physical way to define what a supercluster actually is.
- Camille M. Carlisle, in "Laniakea: Our Home Supercluster" at Sky and Telescoe (3 September 2014).
- Scientists previously placed the Milky Way in the Virgo Supercluster, but under Tully and colleagues' definition, this region becomes just an appendage of the much larger Laniakea, which is 160 million parsecs (520 million light years) across and contains the mass of 100 million billion Suns.
- Elizabeth Gibney, in "Earth's new address: 'Solar System, Milky Way, Laniakea'" in nature (3 September 2014).
- This week, scientists add a new line to our planetary coordinates: the Laniakea galaxy supercluster.
Do not bother googling the name. It really is brand new, coined by an international group of astronomers … Our place in the Universe, for so long one of the core mysteries of human existence that scientists and this journal are dedicated to unravelling, just got a little clearer. Laniakea, the scientists write, is our home supercluster, the one in which the Milky Way resides.
What kind of home is it? It is big — some 160 million parsecs across. Although not as big as some superclusters, it is the largest in our local neighbourhood, which is surprisingly crowded given the vast emptiness of most of the cosmological void. It is a home that has been hiding in plain sight, colossal and all around us, yet unnoticed by previous astronomical surveys. …The name Laniakea has Hawaiian roots, and roughly translated means spacious heaven. It is a beautiful address to have. And one that comes just in time for the new school year and a new curious generation.
- For the first time, astronomers have outlined and named the network of galaxies that includes the Milky Way, adding a line to our cosmic address and further defining our place in the universe. They call it Laniakea, which is Hawaiian for “immense heaven.”
- Douglas Quenqua, in "Giving the Milky Way a New Sense of Place" at The New York Times (3 September 2014).
- It’s like water dividing at a watershed, where it flows either to the left or right of a height of land.
- R. Brent Tully, on the new methods of defining systems of galactic superclusters emerging after investigations of the motions of galaxies to infer the gravitational landscape of the local Universe, as quoted in "Earth's new address: 'Solar System, Milky Way, Laniakea'" by Elizabeth Gibney, in Nature (3 September 2014).
- We have finally established the contours that define the supercluster of galaxies we can call home … This is not unlike finding out for the first time that your hometown is actually part of much larger country that borders other nations.
- Video preview summary of findings at Vimeo (2 September 2014)
- "Laniakea: Our Home Supercluster", Nature video (3 September 2014)
- "Laniakea Supercluster" part of the official release of the findings (4 September 2014)
- "Scientists Mapped 8000 Galaxies (Out Of Billions) & Made An Amazing Discovery" at Collective Evolution (23 September 2014)
- "The Cosmography of the Local Universe" (2013)