Our Universe is a huge place, full of huge things. Stars, Planets, Galaxies and clusters of Galaxies are endless. It’s very hard to imagine the space and things out there from our tiny planet. We should feel humbled by the universe’s incredible size and grandeur. Who knows what will be discovered in the future? Check out these 6 biggest objects in the Universe.
GQ Lupi b – Largest Exoplanet
Discovered in 2005, Astronomers didn’t know what to make of the mysterious object. GQ Lupi b orbits a young star some 2.5 times farther than Pluto is from our sun. Estimates suggest that GQ Lupi b has a radius of 3.5 times bigger than Jupiter, meaning if it is proved to be an exoplanet it is the very largest example ever found!
UY Scuti – Largest Star
UY Scuti is a massive star with a radius 1700 times larger than our sun. This makes it the biggest known star in the universe by far. If UY Scuti was at the centre of the solar system its edge would extend as far or Jupiter! The gas and dust bursting out from the massive star would extend much further out, probably beyond Pluto’s orbit, or in real terms 400 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun!
The Tarantula Nebula – Largest Nebula
The Tarantula Nebula is not only the most active star-forming region in our galaxy it is also the largest known Nebula. Stretching more than 1800 light-years along its longest span, it is around 170,000 light-years away from Earth. Based in the Large Magellanic Cloud – a small satellite galaxy orbiting our Milky Way, the Tarantula hosts beautiful folds of gas. Within this gas and dust young stars are constantly being born.
Supervoid in Eridanus – Largest Empty Spot
Way back in 2004, astronomers discovered a massive region of empty space in space maps created by NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite. WMAP scans the cosmic microwaves in the galaxy’s background (these microwaves are believed to be the leftover radiation from the big bang). This empty spot which is strangely devoid of any stars, dark matter, dust or just about anything at all has managed to baffle the top researchers on how it formed and why it is so large.
IC101 – Largest Galaxy
Our galaxy, the Milky Way is approximately 100,00 lights years in length. This is a fairly average size for a Spiral Galaxy. In comparison the largest galaxy known to us, IC1101 is 50 times larger and some 2000 times more massive than our galactic dwelling. IC1101 stretches an amazing 5.5 million light-years, it is so large that if it were placed where the Milky Way is its edge would pass our galactic neighbour Andromeda!
TON 618 – Largest Black Hole
Massive Black Holes are believed to exist at the centre of every galaxy, each being some millions of times the mass of our Sun. The biggest known Black Hole was found powering a distant Quasar – a gigantic object spewing out massive amounts of radiation. Named TON 618, this Black Hole has a mass estimated equal to 66 billion suns!