Hubble Telescope of NASA Spotted a Godzilla Galaxy

Katie Ramirez
January 8, 2020

Officially known as UGC 2885, NASA's Hubble photographed the behemoth from a distance of 232 million light-years.

The supermassive black hole at the center of UGC 2885 is also relatively quiet.

But despite its terrifying nickname, the galaxy is considered a "gentle giant" of sorts. The galaxy is 2.5 times wider than our Milky Way and contains 10 times as many stars, about 1 trillion. A large population of globular star clusters would suggest the galaxy swallowed up smaller satellite galaxies over many billions of years. For us here on earth our galactic house is indeed huge, but there is always a bigger fish, and in a new NASA image show the trusted Hubble Space Telescope sees a galaxy known as UGC 2885 that is so large that it really is the our shame. At 463,000 light-years throughout, it is about two and a half times wider than our home galaxy, the Milky Way, and comprises about 10 instances as many stars.

NASA called this a "gentle giant", and probably this huge galaxy has been sitting there, largely unchanged for billions and billions of years. But UGC 2885 is alone in its neighborhood, and retains its pristine spiral shape.

Benne Holwerda of the University of Louisville, Kentucky, observed this galaxy with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

UGC 2885 has been identified to astronomers for a variety of years, and its rotation was measured by astronomer Vera Rubin within the 1980s. "We consider this a commemorative image. The goal of citing Dr. Rubin in our observation was very much part of our original Hubble proposal".

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The galaxy is also a barred spiral, even though astronomers couldn't see the bar at first.

The astronomers will present their results January 8, 2020 at the 235th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Honolulu, Hawai'i.

"The way it obtained so large is one thing we do not fairly know but", stated Benne Holwerda, an astronomer investigating the sleeping large.

"It's as big as you can make a disk galaxy without hitting anything else in space", said Holwerda.

At 232 million light-years away, the galaxy sits about 1,363,841,100,000,000,000,000 miles from Earth.

On a gorgeous clear night in 1968 at the Kitt Peak Observatory in the mountains of southern Arizona, astronomer Vera Rubin discovered the existence of dark matter by closely observing the spectra of stars in the Andromeda Galaxy to determine their velocities along with her her colleague, Kent Ford, to calculate how fast the galaxy's stars rotate around its center. But we found a clue that this Rubin's Galaxy is an isolated one in space and does not have much closer to collude against them.

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