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In our website we are continuing our tops and today we will introduce top 10 largest galaxies in the Universe. There are roughly 200 billion galaxies in the Universe. A galaxy is a gravitationally bound system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, and dark matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias, literally “milky”, a reference to the Milky Way. The galaxies are divided into three types; elliptical, spiral, or irregular. Spiral galaxies consist of planets, stars, gas and dust. Elliptical galaxies consist of a large number of older stars, interstellar matter, and a very little dust. An irregular galaxy is a galaxy that does not have a distinct regular shape, unlike a spiral or an elliptical galaxy. So, let’s find out together top 10 largest galaxies in the Universe.
- Andromeda – 220,000 light-years (67,000 pc)
The Andromeda Galaxy is named after the mythological Princess Andromeda, also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224. It is a spiral galaxy approximately 780 kiloparsecs (2.5 million light years) from Earth. It is also considered as the nearest galaxy to the Milky Way. The Andromeda Galaxy’s mass is estimated to be around 1.76 times that of the Milky Way Galaxy. It has a diameter of 220 kly (kilolight-year). This well-known galaxy is occupied the 10th horizon from our top 10 largest galaxies.
- Tadpole Galaxy – 280,000 ly (86,000 pc)
The Tadpole Galaxy is a disrupted barred spiral galaxy located 420 million light-years from Earth in the northern constellation Draco. Its most dramatic feature is a massive trail of stars about 280,000 light-years long. The galaxy is filled with bright blue star clusters. Tadpole Galaxy has a diameter of 280,000 ly.
- ESO 444-46 – 402,200 ly (123.32 kpc)
ESO 444-46 is a giant elliptical galaxy located about 640 million light-years away in the constellation Centaurus. It is the brightest member of the galaxy cluster Abell 3558 which lies in the center of the Shapley per cluster. The size of the galaxy is 402,200 ly (123.32 kpc).
- Condor Galaxy – 522 kly (160 kpc)
Condor Galaxy, also known as NGC 6872, is a large barred spiral galaxy of type SB(s)b pec in the constellation Pavo. It is 212 million light-years (65 Mpc) from Earth and is approximately five billion years old. NGC 6872 is interacting with the lenticular galaxy IC 4970, which is less than one twelfth as large. The galaxy has two elongated arms; from tip to tip, NGC 6872 measures 522,000 light-years (160,000 pc), making it one of the largest-known spiral galaxies. It was discovered on 27 June 1835 by English astronomer John Herschel. The size of the galaxy is 522 kly (160 kpc).
- Comet Galaxy – 600,000 ly (180,000 pc)
The Comet Galaxy, a spiral galaxy located 3.2 billion light-years from Earth, was found with the Hubble Space Telescope. This galaxy has slightly more mass than our Milky Way. It was detected on 2 March 2007. It has a diameter of 600,000 ly (180,000 pc).
- UGC 2885 – 832 kly (255 kpc)
UGC 2885 is placed 5th place from our top 10 largest galaxies. It is an unbarred spiral galaxy located 313 million light-years away in the constellation Perseus. As of May 2018, it is the largest known spiral galaxy with a diameter estimated to be about 832,000 light-years (255,000 pc) (approximately eight times the diameter of our Milky Way).
- ESO 306-17 – 1,000,000 ly (310,000 pc)
ESO 306-17 is a fossil group giant elliptical galaxy in the Columba constellation, about 1 million light-years in diameter, and 493 million light-years away. The galaxy is located alone in a volume of space about it. The galaxy is a giant elliptical of type cD3 (E+3), one of the largest classes of galaxies. So, we take this galaxy 4th horizon from our top 10 largest galaxies.
- Abell 2261 – 1,000,000 ly (310,000 pc)
A2261-BCG (short for Abell 2261 Brightest Cluster Galaxy) is a huge elliptical galaxy in the cluster Abell 2261. It is one of the known largest galaxies. A2261-BCG is estimated to have a diameter of a million light-years, some 10 times larger than the Milky Way. It is the brightest and the most massive galaxy in the cluster, and has the largest galactic core ever observed, spanning more than 10,000 light-years.
- Hercules A – 1,500,000 ly (460,000 pc)
Hercules A is a bright astronomical radio source within the vicinity of the constellation Hercules. It is one of the largest galaxies in the Universe. So, Hercules galaxy is occupied the 2nd place from our top 10 largest galaxies. Detailed analyses point out that the galaxy is actually over 1,000 times more massive (approximately 1015 solar masses) than our Milky Way Galaxy. The central black hole is nearly 1,000 times more massive (approx. 4 billion solar masses) than the black hole at our Milky Way’s center, one of the largest known.
- IC 1101 – 4,000,000 ly (1,200,000 pc)
IC 1101 is the largest galaxy in the Universe, therefore, it is classified as the 1st place in our tops. The galaxy 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. 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. The stellar diameter of this galaxy is only 424,000 ± 78,000 ly.