Sunday, January 13, 2013

Astronomers Find The Largest Known Spiral Galaxy

200 million light years from Earth is the galaxy NGC 6872, which astronomers have now confirmed as being the largest known spiral galaxy in the Universe. Tip to tip, the galaxy spans over 522,000 light years, making it five times bigger than the Milky Way.

Part of the reason for the galaxy’s size is its interaction with nearby galaxy, IC 4970 which interacted with NGC 6872 hundreds of millions of years ago. That interaction increased the size of NGC 6872, and also produced new star forming regions where stars much younger than the other stars in the two galaxies are now being born.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2013/01/12/astronomers-find-the-largest-known-spiral-galaxy/