The Largest Galaxy in the Universe

The Largest Galaxy in the Universe

There are approximately 200 billion galaxies in the Universe, and in this article we are going to introduce you the largest galaxy.  A galaxy is a gravitationally bound system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, and dark matter. The word galaxy comes from the Greek word, literally “milky”, a reference to the Milky Way. Many astronomers claim that 10 billion to 20 billion years ago after the “Big Bang” the galaxies were formed.

The galaxies are divided into elliptical, spiral, or irregular types.

  • An elliptical galaxy is a type of galaxy having a nearly ellipsoidal shape and a smooth. They are one of the three main classes of galaxy described by Edwin Hubble in his Hubble sequence. Elliptical galaxies range in size from tens of millions to over one hundred trillion stars.
The giant elliptical galaxy
The giant elliptical galaxy
  • Spiral galaxies consist of a flat, rotating disk containing stars, gas and dust, and a central concentration of stars known as the bulge. These are often surrounded by a much fainter halo of stars, many of which reside in globular clusters.
An example of a spiral galaxy
An example of a spiral galaxy
  • An irregular galaxy is a galaxy that does not have a distinct regular shape, unlike a spiral or an elliptical galaxy. Irregular galaxies do not fall into any of the regular classes of the Hubble sequence.
An example of a spiral galaxy
An example of a spiral galaxy

The largest galaxy is IC 1101

Now it is high time to focus on the largest galaxy in the Universe. The largest galaxy is IC 1101. It is a supergiant elliptical galaxy at the center of the Abell 2029 galaxy cluster, approximately 320 megaparsecs (1.04 billion light-years) from Earth. The galaxy is classified as a supergiant elliptical (E) to lenticular (S0) and is the brightest galaxy in A2029. Like most large galaxies, IC 1101 is populated by a number of metal-rich stars, some of which are seven billion years older than the Sun, making it appear golden yellow in color. The galaxy was discovered on 19 June 1790 by the British astronomer Frederick William Herschel I. It consists of a large black hole in its center.

Image of the giant galaxy IC 1101, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope
Image of the giant galaxy IC 1101, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope

 

Source: Wikipedia