So, this was cool. One of the things I learned about today: there's this [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Attractor]huge gravitational anomaly[/url] that's distorting the paths of many galactic clusters over a range of several hundred million light years. It even has a pull on us.
The Great Attractor was detected by noticing a deviation from the previously observed redshift of galaxies that are flying further away relative to us. They were flying away, of course, but they were doing so either faster or slower than we expected. Eventually, astronomers gathered enough data to extrapolate a focal point from which a gravitational disruption could produce the given effects. Many studies since
have confirmed its existence and added to the wealth of data on how galaxies around it and similar areas are affected.
I find it so cool, maybe because it's so much larger than anything I've ever known, anything I could know in a lifetime. I can't precisely put it into words at midnight. (I can't at any other time.)
But the title of this thread is a pun. Many aspects of astronomy attract this very novice stargazer. I desire without knowing precisely why. I would defend the importance of its study to anyone who argued to me otherwise. The Great Attractor is my, well, great attractor. Do you have a great attractor in science? Is it this? Something else? How'd you learn about it?