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  • These balls represent

  • one of the strangest phenomena currently

  • taking place in our Universe.

  • Each ball symbolizes one of 100,000 galaxies

  • including our own

  • that are currently being pulled

  • towards a mysterious point in our universe

  • called The Great Attractor.

  • We can't see exactly what is pulling us there,

  • but the only force that would be capable

  • of doing so is gravity.

  • So whatever is out there,

  • it's massive and unrelenting.

  • Going back to our ball example,

  • you can see that if you have 100,000 galaxies

  • all moving towards the same destination,

  • the odds are that some,

  • if not most of them,

  • are going to collide with each other!

  • And if you've been watching our videos,

  • you probably know that almost every one

  • of those galaxies would have a black hole

  • at its center.

  • So what can we expect to happen when nearly

  • 100,000 black holes merge with one another?

  • Before we get ahead of ourselves,

  • let's get to know these 100,000 galaxies a little better.

  • Our Galaxy, the Milky Way,

  • belongs to a group of a few dozen galaxies called the Local Group.

  • Cool.

  • Just like the Sun's gravity pulls the Earth toward it,

  • our Galaxy is pulled towards the other galaxies in our Local Group.

  • Our Local Group belongs to an even bigger collection of galaxies

  • called the Virgo supercluster,

  • and that supercluster belongs to an even larger supercluster,

  • known as Laniakea.

  • The one thing all these clusters have in common is that they're

  • all being pulled towards one specific spot,

  • 220 million light-years away,

  • known as the Great Attractor.

  • Its vast distance away,

  • coupled with all the gas and dust that surrounds it,

  • has made it virtually invisible ever since its discovery

  • until now.

  • Thanks to X-ray and radio astronomers,

  • we can now see behind this cloud of gas and dust,

  • so now we know that this Great Attractor

  • is really just another supercluster named the Norma Supercluster.

  • Norma has the mass of about 1,000 trillion suns,

  • which might explain why it's so attractive to these 100,000 galaxies.

  • So now we know where our Galaxy is heading,

  • and why we're heading there. But what could happen along the way?

  • Well, for one thing, we could collide

  • with another of the 100,000 galaxies heading that way,

  • the most likely one being our closest neighbor, Andromeda.

  • If these two spiral galaxies collided, they would merge into one new elliptical galaxy.

  • During the collision, vast clouds of hydrogen would become compressed,

  • and rapidly create new stars.

  • This would result in the premature aging of thenewgalaxy as it used up its fuel.

  • That doesn't seem too bad,

  • but that's because the black holes in the center of these galaxies haven't collided yet.

  • When these two black holes merge,

  • it will release energy equivalent to 3 times the mass of our Sun within a matter of seconds.

  • That would be enough power to create a disturbance in the space-time continuum.

  • And that's just two black holes colliding.

  • If all the black holes of the 100,000 galaxies

  • drifting towards the Great Attractor merged together,

  • it would release more energy than we could ever imagine.

  • But luckily we won't have to worry about that,

  • because these galaxies will probably never arrive at the same spot and collide.

  • You see, the Great Attractor is also being pulled

  • deeper into space by other massive clusters.

  • And these 100,000 galaxies are also constantly drifting apart,

  • further away from each other.

  • The Universe is constantly expanding,

  • and that expansion will be stronger than even the Great Attractor's pull.

  • What will eventually happen is that Laniakea itself will come apart,

  • and all the galaxies within this supercluster will start to drift even further apart.

  • So there's no big collision,

  • no humanity-destroying event to end this episode.

  • Just a bunch of galaxies drifting off into the abyss.

  • Will they ever stop?

  • Well, that's a story for another WHAT IF.

These balls represent

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もし大いなる魅力が私たちの銀河を飲み込んだとしたら? (What If the Great Attractor Swallowed Our Galaxy?)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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