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Hundreds of new galaxies discovered using radio waves
Scientists have discovered hundreds of new galaxies using radio waves. - photo by Devon Dewey
Scientists have discovered hundreds of new galaxies using radio waves.

In a study published Tuesday in the Astronomical Journal, researchers from several countries detail their findings and report that the galaxies could help explain a mysterious gravitational phenomenon known as the Great Attractor, according to The Washington Post.

Part of the sky is clouded by the Milky Way, making it difficult for researchers to know what exists there. Scientists refer to this area as the Zone of Avoidance, which is a pretty decent name considering in the past theyve named planets Kepler-186f.

Using radio waves to observe space from the Parkes telescope, researchers were able to cut through the haze in the Zone of Avoidance and detected 883 galaxies. Many of the galaxies were already known, but about a third of them had never been spotted before, according to The Washington Post.

This new discovery may help explain why this region beyond the Milky Way pulls all nearby galaxies toward it, earning the name the Great Attractor.

"We don't actually understand what's causing this gravitational acceleration on the Milky Way or where it's coming from," lead author Lister Staveley-Smith of the University of Western Australia said in a statement.

"We know that in this region there are a few very large collections of galaxies we call clusters or superclusters, and our whole Milky Way is moving towards them at more than two million kilometres per hour."

Researchers believe some of these very large collections of galaxies may be big enough to exert a gravitational force explaining the Great Attractor. They are still looking into the discoveries to determine whether or not this is the case.
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