Friday, 11 January 2013

Largest Spiral Galaxy in Universe Revealed

Date: 10 January 2013 Time: 04:58 PM ET
NGC 6872, Largest Known Spiral Galaxy
This composite of the spiral galaxy NGC 6872 combines visible light images from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope with far-ultraviolet data from NASA's GALEX and infrared data acquired by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The spiral is 522,000 light-years across from armtip to armtip, which makes NGC 6872 about 5 times the size of the Milky Way.
CREDIT: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/ESO/JPL-Caltech/DSS
Astronomers have crowned the universe's largest known spiral galaxy, a spectacular behemoth five times bigger than our own Milky Way.

The title-holder is now NGC 6872, a barred spiral found 212 million light-years away in the southern constellation Pavo, researchers announced today (Jan. 10). The distance between NGC 6872's two huge spiral arms is 522,000 light-years, compared to about 100,000 light-years for the Milky Way.

NGC 6872 has ranked among the largest known spiral galaxies for decades. But it has only now been crowned champion, after detailed study of data gathered by a number of instruments, including NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer spacecraft, or GALEX.

More - Link >>> http://www.space.com/19222-largest-spiral-galaxy-universe.html

Source: Space.com .

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