PRESENTATION: Astronomer Brent Tully on the complexities of galaxies, Oct. 13

Brent Tully will speak about the complexities of galaxies and how they group themselves throughout the universe.

Brent Tully
Brent Tully

PRESENTATION: Our Home Laniakea, The Supercluster of Galaxies.
SPEAKER: Brent Tully, astronomer, Institute for Astronomy.
DATE: Oct. 13, 2017.
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (campus map)


Brent Tully, an astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy who helped identify the supercluster Laniakea (Immense Heavens), home to the Milky Way galaxy, will speak about complexities of galaxies and how they group themselves throughout the universe.

Galaxies are often described as giant cities, each containing hundreds of billions of stars. While the Milky Way galaxy is massive, it’s still a smaller piece of a much grander structure within the universe. Superclusters are supermassive structures within which thousands of galaxies are connected together by gravity.

Galaxies are not just distributed randomly, instead they’re found in groups that contain dozens of galaxies that are all interconnected in a web of filaments, in which the galaxies are strung like pearls. The discovery of superclusters has clarified the boundaries of the galactic neighborhood, and establishes previously unrecognized linkages among various galaxy clusters in the local universe. Learn how researchers are finding new ways of evaluating these large-scaled structures by examining their impact on motion, the consequences of a “gravitational tug-of-war.”

Laniakea Supercluster
A digital map of the Laniakea Supercluster.


Brent Tully led the international team of astronomers in defining the contours of the Laniakea supercluster. The name was suggested by Nawa‘a Napolean, an associate professor of Hawaiian language and chair of the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Literature at Kapi‘olani Community College, a part of the University of Hawai‘i system. The name honors Polynesian navigators who used their knowledge of the heavens to voyage across the Pacific Ocean.

Tully grew up in Vancouver, Canada. He received his doctor of philosophy in astronomy from the University of Maryland in 1972. After taking a year off to see the world, he accepted a postdoctoral position in Marseille, France, for two years. In 1975 he accepted a faculty position at UH Mānoa, where he has remained for 42 years. Tully has received several local, national and international awards, among them the ViKtor Ambartsumian International Prize and the Gruber Cosmology Prize.


$10, $8 for ‘Imiloa members. Member level discounts apply.


-From the ‘Imiloa Blog.