Days after the discovery of supernova Mingus, the most distant supernova, scientists have discovered the largest known spiral galaxy due to a crash, which left scattered stars . The crash of the galaxy was discovered through images from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (Galex) satellite. The discovery is termed as a gift by the scientists as they were not looking for it.
The Galaxy crash left a vast trail of ultraviolet light from young stars, pointing to the fact that the galaxy is big enough to harbour five of our Milky Way galaxies within it. The galaxy officially called, NGC 6872, is among the largest spiral galaxies and is about 212 million light-years away.
Commenting on the accidental find, a member of the Catholic University of America and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Rafael Eufrasio, said, “I was not looking for the largest spiral – it just came as a gift. It’s been known to be among the largest for two decades, but it’s much larger than we thought.”
The collision of the galaxies led to the sprinkling of the stars in the space. Talking about the importance of the discovery Rafael said, “It shows the evolution of galaxies in the larger context of the Universe – how the large galaxies we had before were accreted from small clumps in the early Universe.”
The find of the galaxy was reported by the American Astronomical Society in the US. The collision also clarified some details about the spiral as Rafael said, “It’s been known to be among the largest for two decades, but it’s much larger than we thought.”