The gravitational pull of unknown origin is pulling Milky Way closer. The phenomenon is called the Great Attractor.
As a result, hundreds of previously hidden galaxies lurking behind the Milky Way have been exposed, allowing scientists the opportunity to study them for the first time.
The newly sighted galaxies are 250 million light years from Earth and had been shrouded by gas, planets and stars as it was on the other side of our cellestial region.
Lead author Professor Lister Staveley-Smith, from The University of Western Australia, confirmed the team had spotted 883 galaxies on the other side of the Milky Way, with a third of these having never been seen before.
He said: “The Milky Way is very beautiful of course and it’s very interesting to study our own galaxy but it completely blocks out the view of the more distant galaxies behind it.”
Nonetheless, it remains a mystery as to what the Great Attractor is and why it is pulling the Milky Way and other galaxies towards it.
Professor Staveley-Smith added: “We don’t actually understand what’s causing this gravitational acceleration on the Milky Way or where it’s coming from.
“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.”
However, they have now identified several new structures, including three galaxies (NW1, NW2 and NW3) and two new clusters (CW1 and CW2), that could be pulling on the Milky Way.