Astronomers have spotted the largest known spiral galaxy

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posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 02:05 AM
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More exciting finds from the world of Astronomy, this galaxy is larger than thought.

www.jpl.nasa.gov...



Measuring tip-to-tip across its two outsized spiral arms, NGC 6872 spans more than 522,000 light-years, making it more than five times the size of our Milky Way galaxy.

"Without GALEX's ability to detect the ultraviolet light of the youngest, hottest stars, we would never have recognized the full extent of this intriguing system," said lead scientist Rafael Eufrasio, a research assistant at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., who is a doctoral student at Catholic University of America in Washington. He presented the findings Thursday at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach, Calif.

The galaxy's unusual size and appearance stem from its interaction with a much smaller disk galaxy named IC 4970, which has only about one-fifth the mass of NGC 6872. The odd couple is located 212 million light-years from Earth in the southern constellation Pavo.

Astronomers think large galaxies, including our own, grew through mergers and acquisitions -- assembling over billions of years by absorbing numerous smaller systems.

Intriguingly, the gravitational interaction of NGC 6872 and IC 4970 may have done the opposite, spawning what may develop into a new small galaxy.

"The northeastern arm of NGC 6872 is the most disturbed and is rippling with star formation, but at its far end, visible only in the ultraviolet, is an object that appears to be a tidal dwarf galaxy similar to those seen in other interacting systems," said team member Duilia de Mello, a professor of astronomy at Catholic University.

The tidal dwarf candidate is brighter in ultraviolet than other regions of the galaxy, a sign it bears a rich supply of hot young stars less than 200 million years old.



www.bbc.co.uk...


Astronomers have spotted the largest known spiral galaxy - by accident.

A team was looking through data from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (Galex) satellite for star-forming regions around a galaxy called NGC 6872.

But they were shocked to see a vast swathe of ultraviolet light from young stars, indicating that the galaxy is actually big enough to accommodate five of our Milky Way galaxies within it.

The find was reported at the American Astronomical Society meeting in the US.

NGC 6872, a galaxy about 212 million light-years away in the constellation Pavo, was already known to be among the largest spiral galaxies.

Near it sits a lens-shaped or lenticular galaxy called IC 4970, which appears to have crashed through the spiral in recent astronomical times.

Rafael Eufrasio of the Catholic University of America and Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center and colleagues from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and the European Southern Observatory in Chile were interested in a number of regions away from the galaxy.

"I was not looking for the largest spiral - it just came as a gift," Mr Eufrasio told BBC News.

Galex - a space telescope designed to search for the ultraviolet light that newly born stars put out - hinted that NGC 6872 was made much larger in size by the collision.

The team went on to use data from a range of other telescopes including the Very Large Telescope, the Two Micron All-Sky Survey and the Spitzer space telescope - each of which sees in a particular set of colours, in turn evidencing stars of varying ages.

They found the youngest stars in the outer reaches of the galaxy's enormous spiral arms, getting progressively older toward the centre.

That suggests a wave of star formation that travelled down the arms, set off by the collision with IC 4970, with the newest stellar neighbourhoods pushing the galaxy into the top spot in terms of size.

"It's been known to be among the largest for two decades, but it's much larger than we thought," explained Mr Eufrasio.

"The galaxy that collided with the [central disc of NGC 6872] splashed stars all over the place - 500,000 light years away."
edit on 11-1-2013 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 02:14 AM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 

Thats great.

Meanwhile, the World is about to implode as the Rothschild central banking debt scheme collapses under its own weight.



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 02:35 AM
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reply to post by gladtobehere
 


Let's hope there's a solution.



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 02:40 AM
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That is incredible, i cant wait for some form of FTL drive, i want to visit places
like this lol, too bad it wont be in our lifetime unless something major changes,
ahh well at least we get to see them and get a taste for whats out there



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 02:47 AM
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reply to post by theabsolutetruth
 


Great thread OP, that's why we all come here perhaps, a centralised source of knowledge with edges.

The universe by vritue of science and technological advances is getting both smaller and bigger, at the same time.

Where will it end?



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 02:51 AM
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reply to post by OrionsWitness
 


Perhaps it is infinite, or cyclical, or infinitely cyclical, or something. Whichever, sure feels like on the verge of major things more often recently, though it is still a bit like carrot chasing at the moment, wouldn't it be nice for the carrot to land. Though seeing as the nature of the universe is that it is expanding even faster, perhaps in some exponential way it means humanities consciousness is also expanding faster.
edit on 11-1-2013 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 03:42 AM
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If it nudged over 424 times, it would be right next to us since it is half a million light years in size and only 212 million light years away, how did we miss that, its so close.



posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 07:26 AM
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interesting, thanks for posting. Keep me on my toes to what i should expand my daily research to.

Keep it up and u2u anything interesting you think i should know.



posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 08:10 AM
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Originally posted by theabsolutetruth
More exciting finds from the world of Astronomy, this galaxy is larger than thought.


I love this line! NO $H!T!!!

We can only see what we can see, imagine if we could travel 1,000 million light years from Earth, I feel that line would still be very accurate!

We have no clue to the size of our universe.....For people to speculate on the size of our universe without being able to see basically any of it, is just crazy!! That's like me saying there are only 6 million stars in the sky because that's all I can see.....It's crazy to even say something like that.

Good find OP, it's always cool to see new galaxies and things found in our universe!



posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 08:24 AM
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Originally posted by theabsolutetruth
More exciting finds from the world of Astronomy, this galaxy is larger than thought.

www.jpl.nasa.gov...



Measuring tip-to-tip across its two outsized spiral arms, NGC 6872 spans more than 522,000 light-years, making it more than five times the size of our Milky Way galaxy.

"Without GALEX's ability to detect the ultraviolet light of the youngest, hottest stars, we would never have recognized the full extent of this intriguing system," said lead scientist Rafael Eufrasio, a research assistant at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., who is a doctoral student at Catholic University of America in Washington. He presented the findings Thursday at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach, Calif.

The galaxy's unusual size and appearance stem from its interaction with a much smaller disk galaxy named IC 4970, which has only about one-fifth the mass of NGC 6872. The odd couple is located 212 million light-years from Earth in the southern constellation Pavo.

Astronomers think large galaxies, including our own, grew through mergers and acquisitions -- assembling over billions of years by absorbing numerous smaller systems.

Intriguingly, the gravitational interaction of NGC 6872 and IC 4970 may have done the opposite, spawning what may develop into a new small galaxy.

"The northeastern arm of NGC 6872 is the most disturbed and is rippling with star formation, but at its far end, visible only in the ultraviolet, is an object that appears to be a tidal dwarf galaxy similar to those seen in other interacting systems," said team member Duilia de Mello, a professor of astronomy at Catholic University.

The tidal dwarf candidate is brighter in ultraviolet than other regions of the galaxy, a sign it bears a rich supply of hot young stars less than 200 million years old.



www.bbc.co.uk...


Astronomers have spotted the largest known spiral galaxy - by accident.

A team was looking through data from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (Galex) satellite for star-forming regions around a galaxy called NGC 6872.

But they were shocked to see a vast swathe of ultraviolet light from young stars, indicating that the galaxy is actually big enough to accommodate five of our Milky Way galaxies within it.

The find was reported at the American Astronomical Society meeting in the US.

NGC 6872, a galaxy about 212 million light-years away in the constellation Pavo, was already known to be among the largest spiral galaxies.

Near it sits a lens-shaped or lenticular galaxy called IC 4970, which appears to have crashed through the spiral in recent astronomical times.

Rafael Eufrasio of the Catholic University of America and Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center and colleagues from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and the European Southern Observatory in Chile were interested in a number of regions away from the galaxy.

"I was not looking for the largest spiral - it just came as a gift," Mr Eufrasio told BBC News.

Galex - a space telescope designed to search for the ultraviolet light that newly born stars put out - hinted that NGC 6872 was made much larger in size by the collision.

The team went on to use data from a range of other telescopes including the Very Large Telescope, the Two Micron All-Sky Survey and the Spitzer space telescope - each of which sees in a particular set of colours, in turn evidencing stars of varying ages.

They found the youngest stars in the outer reaches of the galaxy's enormous spiral arms, getting progressively older toward the centre.

That suggests a wave of star formation that travelled down the arms, set off by the collision with IC 4970, with the newest stellar neighbourhoods pushing the galaxy into the top spot in terms of size.

"It's been known to be among the largest for two decades, but it's much larger than we thought," explained Mr Eufrasio.

"The galaxy that collided with the [central disc of NGC 6872] splashed stars all over the place - 500,000 light years away."
edit on 11-1-2013 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)


you think thats big have a look at this one 6 million light years across yes 6.000.000


yes i know its elliptical
and it as 100 trillion stars 100.000.000.000 i think
edit on 21/2/2013 by maryhinge because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by Chrisfishenstein
 


iv often stressed this point. I think the galaxy just goes on and on and on and on like one of those creepy animated avatars.



posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by CrypticSouthpaw
reply to post by Chrisfishenstein
 


iv often stressed this point. I think the galaxy just goes on and on and on and on like one of those creepy animated avatars.


The Universe is also expanding...so vast it's virtually a given that there is other intelligent life.



posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by Chrisfishenstein

Originally posted by theabsolutetruth
More exciting finds from the world of Astronomy, this galaxy is larger than thought.


I love this line! NO $H!T!!!

We can only see what we can see, imagine if we could travel 1,000 million light years from Earth, I feel that line would still be very accurate!

We have no clue to the size of our universe.....For people to speculate on the size of our universe without being able to see basically any of it, is just crazy!! That's like me saying there are only 6 million stars in the sky because that's all I can see.....It's crazy to even say something like that.

Good find OP, it's always cool to see new galaxies and things found in our universe!


Thanks.

I know, the universe is infinitely vast, and expanding, unless there such a thing as dimensional travel, how would humanity ever know.



posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 11:18 AM
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GALEX was launched 10 years ago, and has already covered pretty much the whole sky, so it's nice to know it still produces new discoveries.





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