Recent findings presented within the Astronomical Journal have revealed that hundreds of galaxies have been discovered behind the Milky Way.
The discovery has provided astronomers with fresh information about a longstanding gravitational anomaly that they had previously been unable to explain. This anomaly, known as ‘The Great Attractor’ has been the cause of confusion and ambiguity since the 1970’s.
The Studies lead author, Professor Lister Staveley-Smith told the ABC “We didn’t actually understand what’s causing this gravitational acceleration on the Milky Way or where it’s coming from”.
Despite being reasonably close – in astronomical terms – the new galaxies had been hidden from view until recently by our own Milky Way Galaxy. Staveley-Smith said “the team found 883 galaxies, a third of which had never been seen before”.
“The Milky Way is very beautiful of course and it’s very interesting to study our own galaxy, but it completely blocks out the view of the more distant galaxies behind it,”.
Using the CSIRO radio telescope in Parks, NSW, an international team of scientists were able to see through the density of the Milky Way into a previously screened area of space.
The discovery holds the potential to explain the mysteries of ‘The Great Attractor’ which is said to be pulling the Milky Way (as well as thousands of alternate galaxies) towards it with a gravitational pull equivalent to a million billion suns.