Quo Vadis?

dip_cobe_960The Earth isn’t standing still. It moves around the Sun. The Sun moves in it’s orbit around the center of the galaxy. The Milky Way has it’s orbit in the Local Group of Galaxies which is moving toward the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. And the whole lot is moving with respect to the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the afterglow of the Big Bang. The above all-sky map of the CMB was made using data from the COBE satellite. The Doppler Effect causes radiation in the Earth’s direction of motion to appear blue shifted and, thus, hotter, while radiation on the opposite side of the sky is redshifted and colder. The data indicate that the Local Group moves at about 600 km/s relative to the CMB.

Image Credit: NASA