Have you ever wondered which galaxy is the biggest galaxy in the known universe? Apparently, the galaxy known as IC 1101, located in the Virgo constellation (although Deep Astronomy states it is in the Serpens constellation in the video below), is a giant.
According to a 1990 New York Times article titled “Sighting of Largest Galaxy Hints Clues on the Clustering of Matter” –
The galaxy, embracing more than 100 trillion stars, is the extremely bright object at the center of a rich cluster of galaxies known as Abell 2029. Analysis of new telescopic images indicates that the object is a distinct galaxy more than six million light years in diameter, scientists report in the issue of the journal Science published today.
To get a sense of just how big IC 1101 is, here is an extract from an article on Futurism titled “The Largest Galaxy In the Known Universe: IC 1101“:
Just how large is it? At its largest point, this galaxy extends about 2 million light-years from its core, and it has a mass of about 100-trillion stars. To give you some idea of what this means, the Milky Way is just 100,000 light-years in diameter. If our galaxy were to be replaced with this super-giant, it would swallow up both Magellanic clouds, the Andromeda galaxy, the Triangulum galaxy, and almost all the space in between. That is simply staggering.
- “Hot News For Cold Dark Matter” from the Chandra Observatory team;
- “Sighting of Largest Galaxy Hints Clues on the Clustering of Matter” by the New York Times; and
- “The Largest Galaxy In the Known Universe: IC 1101” by Futurism.
Image credit: Galactic Pyrotechnics on Display (NASA, Chandra, 07/02/14) by NASA’s Marshall Flight Center, licensed CC BY NC 2.0