Our Hidden Galaxy Neighbor

By Staff
article image

There could be a galaxy, invisible to the naked eye and to telescopes, hidden inside “our own cosmic backyard.” Scientists have been struggling with discrepancies between the rate our galaxy should be moving through the universe, according to calculations, and the rate it’s actually moving. The New Scientist reports that the gravitational pull of another galaxy, hidden inside our own, could explain the mystery.

Other scientists disagree. Instead, dissenters argue that a supercluster of galaxies, 700 million light years away and many times larger than the Milky Way, is the more likely culprit. —Sarah Pumroy

For a snapshot into our galaxy and beyond, read Anthony Doerr’s “Worlds Without End” from the September/October issue of Utne Reader.

Correction: The hidden galaxy is thought to be in the space behind the Milky Way, not inside it as originally reported.

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.