What’s a Saturday without some Fun with Maps?! Hypothetically, a Saturday that I was too busy to write anything, but anyway, maps!
Map 71 crossed my Facebook feed and I felt the need to share it. It represents something I actively hate; Active Hate Groups.
Yahoo posted this map and a corresponding article on February 17th. I was especially drawn to this map because of the surprisingly large amount of hate groups in the United States. It’s not exactly a secret that this country is filled with a lot of hate (I hate a lot of stuff to be fair), but I find it surprising there are this many organized haters. Why would so many people feel the need to join a group of fellow haters? The map shows a variety of hate groups by type. Some of the most obvious ones include the KKK and Neo-Nazis but there are several listed. There’s even a category for ‘General Hate’ groups. Isn’t that nice. People (more than likely mean white guys) without terribly specific hatred can have a group too. It’s deplorable. Map-wise, pay attention to where these groups are located. There are very large concentrations of hate groups in some areas and no area is completely devoid. There is a probable correlation between the location of these hate groups and higher populations but I find the high quantity in the Southeast to be telling.
To clarify, the things I personally hate are really just annoyances to me, such as slow drivers, spouse/animal abusers, and bad advertising (my major in college). I could list a lot more things but the point is, I don’t hate people just because of their race or religion and it is wrong to do so.
Map 72 is a little less filled-with-hate. In fact, it shows just how insignificant the hate of a few homosapiens really is.
Welcome to Laniakea. You probably didn’t know it, but Laniakea is the name scientists have given the local super-cluster of galaxies that contains our own, the Milky Way. The name means ‘immeasurable heavens’ in Hawaiian. Evidently, this super-cluster contains over 100,000 galaxies and stretches over 500 million light years (yes, that’s a measure of distance). Every point of light on the map is a galaxy of stars and planets, perhaps trillions of them in each one. Earth exists in one of those tiny galaxies, orbiting one of those stars along with at least seven other planets (Pluto may not qualify anymore but there are rumors we’ll discover more if we keep looking). We are so insignificant in this universe, ridiculously so.
The article where I found these images also explained how scientists in Hawaii mapped what we currently know of the massive Universe in which we live. They were able to track movements of many stars and galaxies, even determining patterns and boundaries. Apparently, objects in our very own backyard (relatively) move in different directions. The Universe is expanding but gravity of individual entities (stars, black holes, planets, etc.) pulls things in multiple directions. That’s how those scientists were able to tell where one super-cluster begins and ends. The galaxies in separate clusters are pulled in different directions. Most, but not all, of the galaxies in Laniakea are pulled towards something dubbed ‘The Great Attractor’. This unknown thing (or doohickey if you will), is drawing thousands of galaxies towards it. It’s located at the joining of the wishbone shape seen in the map. It could be a massive black hole but whatever it is, it’s really, really big. It’s much too far away for scientists to know what exactly it is. Luckily for us, the Milky Way isn’t arriving there any time soon. Perhaps in a couple hundred million years we can start to worry. Hell, based on our planet’s lack of remaining natural resources and its hate-filled, science-fearing populace, we’ll be long dead as a species. We’ll be lucky to make the jump to long-distance space travel. Okay, you caught me. I finally watched Interstellar this week, my inspiration for including this map of Laniakea in this post.
Final thoughts; space is infinite, we are not alone, and we should probably start exploring beyond our solar system so we can survive our planet’s eventual demise. Matthew McConaughey won’t be there to fly through a black hole to save us.
Until next time,