Now That Is Big

The Milky Way is a pip squeak —

This is galaxy cluster Abell 2029, located 1.07 billion light-years distant, or some 20 times farther away than the Virgo Cluster. At the center of this lies the largest known galaxy in the Universe: IC 1101. This is a galaxy that extends for 2 million light-years away from its central core in its largest direction, many times the size of Messier 87 and with the largest known mass of any galaxy in the Universe. In fact, it extends for nearly twice the distance separating the Milky Way from Andromeda! Including dark matter, it comes in with 100 trillion Solar Masses, or nearly the mass of the entire Virgo Cluster combined. (If you do a google image search for the size of this galaxy, you will find some terribly wild exaggerations of this galaxy; beware.)

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