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Rubin’s Galaxy (UGC 2885) Largest Galaxy in Local Universe?

By on Jan 6, 2020 in Galaxies | 0 comments

Located about 232 million light-years in the northern constellation Perseus is UGC 2885 or nicknamed “Rubin’s Galaxy.” This galaxy is 2.5 times wider than our own Milky Way! It also contains 10 times as many stars which results in as much 4 trillion stars! Now you really get a sense of why astronomers are referring to it as the largest galaxy known to date. Credits: NASA, ESA and B. Holwerda (University of Louisville) Rubins galaxy is enormous and really quite relaxed for a giant. The number of stars it produces is half the rate of our Milky Way. That means it’s really slowing down at the star factory. Also, the supermassive black hole in the center of it is also taking a break and not feeding on any smaller satellite galaxies. This galaxy falls under a special category called “field galaxies.” Or a galaxy that is in a remote area of space that is...

First Discovery of Black Hole that Actually Prevents Star Formation in Phoenix Galaxy Cluster

By on Dec 21, 2019 in Galaxies | 0 comments

Let’s take a journey 5.7 billion light-years away from Earth and find ourselves looking at the beautiful Phoenix Galaxy Cluster. This cluster is one of the most massive galaxy clusters so far discovered by astronomers. It’s so big that it would take you 1.1 million years travelling at the speed of light to go from the center to the outer edges of the halo. Check it out in its full glory here: Credit: NASA/Chandra At the center of the gargantuan galaxy cluster is a supermassive black hole that is about a thousand times more massive than our own! What’s even more fascinating is the galaxy at the center contains so much hot gas that it has more normal matter at the center than all the galaxies surrounding it combined! Furthermore, the odd thing is even though there is so much normal mass and hot gas, the supermassive black hole doesn’t have any active jets or...

Studies Indicate Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole Dictates Star Formation

By on Jan 2, 2018 in Galaxies | 0 comments

Formation of stars is one of the most important aspects when it comes to life in the universe as well as the variety of heavy elements available in the universe. Without star formation we wouldn’t be here nor would elements like gold. Astronomers discovered that large galaxies with supermassive black holes have a lot to do with whether more stars will form or not.   A supermassive black hole has numerous effects like the gravitational effect on stars and sometimes powering the immense radiation from an active galactic nucleus (AGN). What’s fascinating is the energy flowing into the AGN is thought to turn off star formation. Why? This happens because the gas gets heated and dispelled as a result which means it doesn’t get to condense into stars by cooling down. Scientists have actually thrown this theory around for quite a while now but never had any conclusive...

HCG 91: Furious Gravity Tug of War Between Galaxies

By on May 7, 2016 in Galaxies | 0 comments

Here’s a fantastic photo of a group of galaxies playing gravitational tug of war located a staggering 320 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Piscis Austrinus. These group of galaxies are what as known as Hickson Compact Group 91 or HCG 91. They are named so because a Canadian astronomer named Paul Hickson discovered 100 compact groups of galaxies. The tails of these galaxies are actually 100,000 light-years long! Because of their “close” interaction the galaxies are triggering furious star formations. On a cosmic timescale these galaxies will merge together to form one larger galaxy which is how our very own Milky Way Galaxy formed. What is also impressive about this image is that it captures fainter galaxy interactions that are 2 billion light years away from Earth! Further Reading or Sources:...

The Destructive Fate of the Comet Galaxy

By on Mar 9, 2016 in Galaxies | 1 comment

Galaxies all come in different shapes and sizes and it plays on our imagination of what life could be like in other galaxies. However, the Comet Galaxy brings something new to the table. It’s what astronomers and scientists discovered about this galaxy that made it so intriguing. The galaxy is ripping itself apart while flying through space at incredible speeds.   At the top left you can see the infamous Comet Galaxy leaving a trail of stars and gas as it’s flying through at 3.5 million kilometers/hr or 972 kilometers per second!! So you can imagine that this thing is just barely holding on to its mass and stars as it’s flying through. The Comet Galaxy is located 3.2 billion light years away in Abell 2667, so really it takes a very powerful telescope to even see this thing. The temperatures in the galaxy are estimated between 10 – 100 million degrees...