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Largest-known spiral galaxy may give birth to new small galaxy, say astronomers

Ross Cronkrite | Science Recorder | January 11, 2013

Largest-known spiral galaxy may give birth to new small galaxy, say astronomers

Largest-known spiral galaxy spotted by NASA’s GALEX mission.

A multinational team of astronomers has discovered the largest-known spiral galaxy. While spiral galaxy NGC 6872 has ranked among the biggest stellar systems for years, astronomers recently labeled it the largest-known spiral galaxy after examining data from NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) mission. NGC 6872 stretches more than 522,000 light-years, making it more than five times the size of our Milky Way galaxy.

GALEX has played an essential role in astronomers’ ability to study NGC 6872.

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