What’s the most lonely place you can imagine right now? An abandoned building? A deserted island? But let’s ramp up the scale beyond the skies and look at the loneliest places in the Universe – the Void Galaxies. It appears that astronomers may have just found the most solitary of them all.
The Void Galaxy. That name suggests only the strangest placement of such galaxies. They’re alone and surrounded by enormous volumes of absolutely nothing. Just a dark void, with no stars, no planets, no matter at all. You may argue that everything in the Universe is surrounded by dark space. But have you ever heard about the Boötes void which is nearly 330 million light-years in diameter?
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Animation is created by Bright Side.
- The Boötes void, or as it’s also called: The Great Nothing, was proved to have about 60 galaxies. And that’s only the assumed number. Some estimations propose that The Great Nothing must have at least 2,000 galaxies in it.
- The first scientific observation of another galaxy is of the Andromeda galaxy, and it was made by the Persian astronomer Al-Sufi in the 10th century. He noted Andromeda as a “small cloud”.
- One of these lonely galaxies is the newly found MCG+01-02-015. It’s situated deep in the void. Just try to imagine, if we lived at this distance from any other galaxy, we wouldn’t have known that there’s another galaxy in the Universe until 1960.
- This newly found galaxy found itself in a strange position because of the Universal expansion after the Big Bang.
- At that time, all the matter in the Universe was concentrated in a tiny space. And then it exploded, pushing all that matter in all directions.
- The further the matter goes from the initial explosion, the more the distance between different parts of this matter.
- Void Galaxies may be the strangest type of galaxies in terms of their origin, but in the vast space of the Universe, there are a lot of other galactic scale miracles. For example, there’s one galaxy called the Sombrero Galaxy.
- There are also galaxies that are interesting because of their rapid star generation and supernova explosions. The most notable of those is the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy. It looks like an enormous whirlpool of pink, blue and white.
- Another wonder of the Universe takes the form not just of one galaxy, but of two that collide with each other. There’s the Tadpole Galaxy that has a large visible tail which formed when a larger galaxy literally merged with a smaller one.
- Another example of a galactic crush is the Porpoise Galaxy that looks like a dolphin! What looks like the shining eye of this “dolphin” is, in fact, the core of the galaxy.
- These types of strange galaxies are especially intriguing because we know that our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is going to collide with the Andromeda galaxy one day. Don’t panic! This won’t happen for another 4.5 billion years.