The Great Attractor remained mysterious to astronomers for decades, as it sits in the Zone of Avoidance. This zone in the sky is obscured by gas and dust from the Milky Way, which makes it hard for telescopes and other technology to view anything in that direction. Scientists had to use x-ray astronomy to finally scope out the space that the Great Attractor occupies. (Until then, we had only known that our galaxy was moving inexplicably towards that area.) They found a supercluster of galaxies that probably constitutes the anomalous mass of the Great Attractor, and have since determined that this supercluster is moving towards another, larger one: the Shapley Supercluster, which boasts the mass of more than 10 million billion suns.
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Key Facts In This Video
Our galaxy, and the galaxies around it, are being pulled toward a specific region of space known as the Great Attractor. 00:29
The Norma Cluster is a supercluster of galaxies found in the area of the Great Attractor. 01:46
The Shapley Supercluster is the most massive galaxy cluster within a billion light-years. 02:36