The largest known galaxy was just discovered, and you won’t believe how massive it is_freckle removal london

Joshua Hawkins·3 min read

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Scientists have discovered the largest known galaxy ever. The new discovery is located around 3 billion light-years away. The galaxy, which is named Alcyoneus, is a giant radio galaxy. The galaxy is roughly 16.3 million light-years long. For reference, our own galaxy measures under 106,000 light-years. That makes Alcyoneus roughly 153.77 times longer than the Milky Way.

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Alcyoneus is the largest known galaxy in the universe

Radio telescopes and the Milky Way at night
Radio telescopes and the Milky Way at night

Giant radio galaxies like Alyoneus are yet another mystery that we have yet to solve. This massive galaxy, and many like it, contain a host galaxy, as well as massive jets and lobes that erupt from the center of the galaxy. Scientists believe that these jets and lobes are a byproduct of an active supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s center. As such, these massive galaxies are some of the most intriguing we’ve discovered in space.

Despite the size of Alcyoneus, the type of radio lobes it emits are pretty normal. In fact, our own galaxy has its own array of radio lobes. The most mysterious thing about galaxies like Alcyoneus, though, is how they grow so large. Because Alcyoneus is the largest known galaxy we’ve discovered so far, it continues to highlight just how little we know about the celestial world around us.

Increase our understanding of radio galaxies

supernova
supernova

A team of researchers has created a paper dedicated to the matter. The researchers are publishing the paper in Astronomy & Astrophysics soon. In the paper, astronomer Martijn Oei says that Alcyoneus could help us better understand radio galaxies as a whole.

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