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IC 1101

IC 1101 Elliptical Galaxy in Virgo

IC 1101 is an elliptical galaxy object of interest in space. It lies at a distance of 1.04 Billion light years away in the constellation of Virgo.

The Elliptical Galaxy's location is 15h 10m 56.1s (R.A.) and +05:44:41 (Dec.). The object can not be seen by the naked eye, you need a telescope to see it.

IC 1101 has a radius of 1,956,900 light years or to put it another way, it has a diameter of 3,913,800 light years. It would take a space ship 3,913,800 years travelling at the speed of light to get from one side to the other.

IC 1101 Facts at a Glance

Largest Galaxy in the Universe

IC 1101 is the largest know elliptical or any galaxy type for that matter that we have so far discovered in the Universe. In addition to it being the largest galaxy, it also has the largest supermassive black hole in any galaxy so far spotted. Supermassive black holes are at the centres of most galaxies that are many many trillions time the size and power of stars that orbit it.

Size Comparison of IC 1101 and Milky Way

Our galaxy is estimated to have about 200-400 billion stars (400,000,000,000) which might seem a lot but then IC 1101 has an estimate 100 trillion stars (100,000,000,000,000).

To give you some idea of how big the galaxy is, our own galaxy has a diameter of about 100,000 light years. Andromeda's Galaxy has a diameter of 210,000 light years across but the IC 1101 has a diameter of about 4 million light years or 2 million light years across for as its radius.

If the IC1101 was in the same position our galaxy was in, it would not only consume the Milky Way but it would also consume the Triangulum galaxy, Magellanic Clouds, both Large and Small and also the Andromeda Galaxy . ref:futurism

When can you view IC1101

With such a dim apparent magnitude, you are going to need a telescope that is about 8-10 inches. Before rushing out and buying the first 8-10 inch telescope, do get professional advice first.

Northern Hemisphere

For northern hemisphere, the details I give are based on viewing from London at about 9 p.m. Depending where in the northern hemisphere you are, you will need to adjust to see it. It should be visible from about mid-april on the eastern horizon but May will be better. The last chance to see the constellation is at the beginning of October when it will be on the horizon. The constellation will have gone but the galaxy should just be visible.

Southern Hemisphere

For southern hemisphere, I am assuming you are viewing from Sydney, Australia about 9 p.m. You won't be able to see IC1101 until May at 9 p.m. However, the galaxy is visible on the horizon at about 10 p.m. the month before on the horizon. The galaxy is at the very southern edge of the constellation so although you might be able to see the constellation, the galaxy won't be visible.

The last good chance to see the constellation before it disappears below the horizon is at the end of August. The constellation will have virtually disappeared but the galaxy is now at the top end of the constellation and should be viewable.

Dying Galaxy

It is classed as a dying galaxy as it doesn't have many new stars being born unlike our own galaxy, the milky way. Some stars are being born but at a very slow rate. Our own galaxy continues to produce new stars, not at the same rate as which it once did but it continues to do so unlike IC 1101. The only way this galaxy will survive is to consume other galaxies like it has done in its past. Just because the galaxy is a dead galaxy, it doesn't mean that there aren't alien life forms in that part of the Universe, its just refers to the birth rate of new stars.

The galaxy grows by cannibalising smaller galaxies that get too close to it. It is so far away, you will not be able to see it without using an observational aid. It will be a long long time untill our galaxy and that galaxy cross paths if ever. Before the collision of our galaxies occur, we'll have merged with other galaxies such as Andromeda's which that won't be for another five billion years. The video at Hubble Site has a brief video about galaxies and how its grown over the years with scale.

We know its a dying galaxy by the colour that the galaxy gives off. A blue coloured galaxy is one that is full of activity of young stars but a yellowy galaxy such as IC 1101 is docile, dying. IC1101 is an elliptical galaxy which older galaxies tend to be whereas our galaxy is believed to be a spiral galaxy. Its believed to be so because its been calculated as being an spiral galaxy, no one has ever and will probably ever see it.

Although it is too far away to spot any, it is inconceivable that the galaxy doesn't contain any planets. We know that planets exist in other galaxies, we've spotted them in the Andromeda Galaxy which is the nearest large galaxy to us.

Fact File

NameIC 1101
TypeElliptical Galaxy
Index Catalogue IdIC1101
Right Ascension15h 10m 56.1s
Distance (Lt.Yr)1.04 Billion
Radius (Lt.Yr)1,956,900.00
Apparent Dimension1.2x0.6
Apparent Magnitude14.73000
Naked Eye VisibleRequires 8m Telescope - Magnitudes
Year of Discovery1790
DiscovererWilliam Herschel

Location of IC 1101 in Virgo

IC 1101 Elliptical Galaxy in Virgo

The image above showing the location of the object was generated using the free application Night Vision

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