Well, guess what? It’s happening again, just on a slightly larger scale. Welcome to Laniakea! It’s Hawaiian for “immeasurable heaven.” Sounds positively lovely, doesn’t it? When I close my eyes and slowly whisper Laniakea I imagine reclining in my lounge chair on a white sandy beach shaded by coconut palms. A young lady with a grass skirt and flowers in her hair winks at me as she hands me a cool drink with fruit and a paper umbrella (or maybe for you he’s a bronzed young-man with no shirt and white cabana pants rolled up above the ankles). I take a sip and take in a deep breath. As I exhale I say to myself, “ahh, Laniakea.”
So where is Laniakea you ask? You are in it! Yup, Laniakea is a new designation for a place that has been around for a while. Turns out our Milky Way resides in the outskirts of a “super-cluster” of galaxies. That super-cluster astronomers now call Laniakea. According to this article:
Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, lies on the far outskirts of Laniakea near the border with another supercluster of galaxies named Perseus-Pisces. "When you look at it in three dimensions, is looks like a sphere that's been badly beaten up and we are over near the edge, being pulled towards the centre," said Brent Tully, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.
|Solar System image courtesy NASA |
(NASA Identifier: C-1980-1550)
Mark my words, some slick huckster from the inner part of the “super cluster” is going to make an offer our Solar System can’t refuse. They’re going to buy us out and put in some retro “Laniakea Super-Clustre Centre” with a Starbucks, Panera Bread, and Chipotle.
I’ve seen it before. But we can stop these so-called "astronomers." There are environmental impact studies and re-zoning petitions. Call up your stellar reps and tell them to “say no” to galactic development. And with our environmental woes right here on Earth, surely we humans are an endangered species. We can throw that at them and slow this whole thing down in the courts.
Are you with me?