Astronomers just found the largest galaxy ever

Researchers from Leiden University have discovered the largest radio galaxy yet at 16.3 million light-years long, named Alcyoneus.

@AdamHuntTT
Published Thu, Feb 17 2022 5:03 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Mar 15 2022 5:46 AM CDT

A new paper describing the galaxy's discovery has been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Astronomers just found the largest galaxy ever 02 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 2 IMAGES

Researchers from Leiden University have discovered the largest known radio galaxy ever, about 16.3 million light-years in length, or about five megaparsecs. The giant plumes of plasma visible in the photo, visible in bright orange, glow with radio light and are likely the result of a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The black holes at the center of a galaxy can create two jet streams, ejecting material out of the galaxy and emitting radio waves, creating scenes like those seen here.

These kinds of astronomical observations are only viewed from Earth, and hence they do not contain any depth information. Therefore, it is difficult to know how far the galaxy's sphere of influence expands in the third dimension. Still, at more than 16 million light-years across, the radio galaxy is comparable to one hundred Milky Ways in a row.

The massive structure has been named Alcyoneus, after the son of Ouranos, the Greek primordial god of the sky. It is located three billion light-years away and yet is as large in the sky as the moon. Astronomers are unsure how it reached this size, as its black hole and stellar characteristics seem to be less than average compared to smaller galaxies.

You can read more from the paper here.

Buy at Amazon

70mm Aperture 400mm Telescope AZ Mount for Beginners & Adults

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$59.99$59.99$69.99
* Prices last scanned on 5/24/2022 at 7:42 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.
NEWS SOURCES:phys.org, arxiv.org

Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

Newsletter Subscription

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles