Galaxy smash

Written by      

At least 14 gas-rich galaxies have been discovered on the verge of merging, according to a study published in Nature—and the authors say this is the most massive structure in the Universe.

Called SPT2349-56, this cluster lies about 12.4 billion light-years away. Within each galaxy forming it, stars are growing 50 to 1000 times faster than they are in the Milky Way. But the cluster takes up a space only three times bigger than the Milky Way—a density which means all 14 galaxies will be forced to quickly merge into one ‘mega-galaxy’, says study author Scott Chapman.

Further data from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in northern Chile shows these 14 galaxies are just the beginning—there are even more galaxies close by.

More by