What are the Largest Galaxies in the Universe? IC 1101

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Top 10 Largest Galaxies in The Universe
Top 10 Largest Galaxies in The Universe

On our website, we are continuing our tops, and today we will introduce the top 10 largest galaxies in the Universe. How many galaxies are in the Universe? It is estimated that the Universe includes around 200 billion galaxies. Galaxies are systems of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas and dust, and dark matter that are held together by gravitational forces. The name galaxy comes from the Greek galaxies, which means “milky” and refers to the Milky Way galaxy.

There are three kinds of galaxies: 

  • elliptical
  • spiral
  • irregular galaxies. 

Spiral galaxies are made up of planets, stars, gas, and dust. Elliptical galaxies are characterized by a high concentration of older stars, interstellar substances, and a shortage of dust. In contrast to spiral and elliptical galaxies, an irregular galaxy does not have a definite regular form. So, let’s have a look at the Universe’s top 10 largest galaxies together. 

  1. Andromeda – 220,000 light-years (67,000 pc)

The Andromeda Galaxy, commonly known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224, is named after the legendary Princess Andromeda. It is a spiral galaxy located at roughly 780 kiloparsecs (2.5 million light-years) from Earth. It is also the Milky Way’s nearest galaxy with a diameter of 220 kly (kilolight-year). The mass of the Andromeda Galaxy is calculated to be 1.76 times that of the Milky Way. This well-known galaxy takes up the tenth horizon in our list of the 10 largest galaxies. 

Andromeda Galaxy’s mass is estimated to be around 1.76 times that of the Milky Way Galaxy
  1. Tadpole Galaxy – 280,000 ly (86,000 pc)

The Tadpole Galaxy is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Draco, situated 420 million light-years from Earth. Its most significant aspect is a huge trail of stars measuring around 280,000 light-years in length. The galaxy is filled with bright blue star clusters. Tadpole Galaxy has a diameter of 280,000 ly.

The galaxy is filled with bright blue star clusters.
  1. ESO 444-46 – 402,200 ly (123.32 kpc)

ESO 444-46 is a massive elliptical galaxy in the constellation Centaurus, situated around 640 million light-years distant. It is the brightest component of the Abell 3558 galaxy cluster, located in the Shapley per cluster’s heart. The dimensions of the galaxy are 402,200 ly (123.32 kpc).

ESO 444-46 is a giant elliptical galaxy.
  1. Condor Galaxy – 522 kly (160 kpc)

The Condor Galaxy, abbreviated NGC 6872, is a massive barred spiral galaxy of type SB(s)b pc located in the constellation Pavo. It is around five billion years old and is located 212 million light-years away (65 Mpc) from Earth. NGC 6872 is merging with IC 4970, a lenticular galaxy about one-twelfth the size of NGC 6872. NGC 6872 contains two extended arms and measures 522,000 light-years (160,000 pc) in diameter from tip to tip, making it one of the enormous spiral galaxies known. John Herschel, an English astronomer, discovered it on June 27, 1835. The size of the galaxy is 522 kly (160 kpc).

It is 212 million light-years (65 Mpc) from Earth.
  1. Comet Galaxy – 600,000 ly (180,000 pc)

The Hubble Space Telescope discovered the Comet Galaxy, a spiral galaxy 3.2 billion light-years from Earth. Compared to our Milky Way, this galaxy has a somewhat larger mass. It was discovered on March 2, 2007, and has a diameter of 600,000 ly (180,000 pc).

The Comet Galaxy was found with the Hubble Space Telescope.
  1. UGC 2885 – 832 kly (255 kpc)

UGC 2885 is the fifth largest galaxy in our top ten list. Located 313 million light-years distant from Perseus’s constellation, it is an unbarred galaxy with a spiral structure. It is the largest known spiral galaxy as of May 2018, with a diameter of roughly 832,000 light-years (255,000 pc) (approximately eight times the diameter of our Milky Way).

it is the largest known spiral galaxy
  1. ESO 306-17 – 1,000,000 ly (310,000 pc)

ESO 306-17 is a fossil group massive elliptical galaxy in the Columba constellation, around 1 million light-years in diameter and 493 million light-years distant. The galaxy stands alone in a vast expanse of space. The galaxy is a type cD3 (E+3) giant elliptical, one of the biggest classifications of galaxies. So, we place this galaxy on the fourth horizon on the list of the 10 largest galaxies.

About 1 million light-years in diameter.
  1. Abell 2261 – 1,000,000 ly (310,000 pc)

The Abell 2261 Brightest Cluster Galaxy (A2261-BCG) is a massive elliptical galaxy in the Abell 2261 cluster. It is one of the largest galaxies ever discovered. Approximately ten times the diameter of the Milky Way, A2261-BCG is believed to have a million light-year diameter. It possesses the largest galactic core yet recorded, spanning more than 10,000 light-years, and is the brightest and most massive galaxy in the cluster.

It is the brightest and the most massive galaxy in the cluster
  1. Hercules A – 1,500,000 ly (460,000 pc)

Hercules A is located in the area of the constellation Hercules and is a prominent astronomical radio source. In terms of size, it is one of the most massive galaxies in the Universe. So, Hercules galaxy is ranked second among the top ten largest galaxies on our list. According to detailed calculations, the galaxy is almost 1,000 times more massive than our Milky Way Galaxy (roughly 1015 solar masses). Compared to the black hole in the core of our Milky Way, which is one of the biggest known black holes, the central black hole is over 1,000 times more massive (around 4 billion solar masses).

The central black hole is nearly 1,000 times more massive than the black hole at our Milky Way’s center.
  1. IC 1101 – 4,000,000 ly (1,200,000 pc)

We rank IC 1101 first because it is the largest galaxy in the Universe and the most massive one. Around 320 megaparsecs (1.04 billion light-years) away from Earth, the galaxy is a supergiant, elliptical galaxy located at the heart of the Abell 2029 galaxy cluster. The galaxy is the brightest one in A2029. It is categorized as a supergiant elliptical (E) to lenticular (S0) galaxy. IC 1101, like other massive galaxies, is inhabited by a variety of metal-rich stars, some of which are seven billion years older than the Sun. The galaxy was discovered by British astronomer Frederick William Herschel I on June 19, 1790. At the heart of the galaxy lies a huge black hole. The stellar diameter of this galaxy is only 424,000 ± 78,000 ly.

IC 1101 is the largest galaxy in the Universe.

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