Saturday, January 12, 2013

Meet the BIGGEST Spiral Galaxy Known

Hey SPace Placers!

Sorry I missed everybody yesterday but I was exploring Harper's Ferry - quite a place historically with an incredible view of nature. It is where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers merge an is situated in a valley gorge. Truly incredible to see where John Brown led his revolt against slavery October 17, 1859. The National Park Service has done an excellent job with this historical and natural treasure.

Astronomers have announced the largest spiral galaxy currently known spans 522, 000 light years, or five times the size of our own rather large Milky Way Galaxy. Known as NGC 6872, it is located in the southern hemisphere constellation Pavo and is 212 million light years from Earth.

composite of the giant barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872

The galaxy was measured from "tip to tip" and is so large because of the gravitational interaction between the main galaxy and a dwarf companion galaxy.

Sky Guy in VA

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