This work, published in Nature by a team of astronomers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, sheds light on the large-scale structure of the Universe, which is the result of a conflict between two forces. You have gravity, which pulls things, including galaxies, together, and the overall expansion of the cosmos, which pushes them apart, creating superclusters on one side and huge dark voids on the other. There are four huge areas identified so far: Laniakea, its neighbouring Perseus-Pisces supercluster, and two other superclusters, Shapley and Coma, on the far side of the universe.
“We have finally established the contours that define the supercluster of galaxies we can call home. This is not unlike finding out for the first time that your hometown is actually part of much larger country that borders other nations.” (R. Brent Tully, lead researcher, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
“[The name Laniakea] It is taken from the Hawaiian words lani, which means heaven, and akea, which means spacious or immeasurable. That is just the name one would expect for the whopping system that we live in. Hopefully, this will initiate observational programs to carry out additional direct-distance measurements of galaxies.” (Elmo Tempel, Tartu Observatory, Estonia)