The biggest things in the universe are invisible (but that doesn't matter, because if your wimpy human eye was even out there to see them it would be too busy freezing, suffocating, or freaking out over how far away from home it is anyway). Scientists have used a super-network of the world's most awesome observatories to look at the most massive galaxies ever to exist.
These megamassive star collections are so far away that their light has been shifted out of the visible spectrum, just by the doppler effect of the expanding universe. In an awesome Voltron-like combination, which is presumably also keeping its incredibly eye out for Galactus, the ESA's XMM X-Ray Observatory hooked up with NASA's Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer satellites to create a super-sensor survey able to observe the immense galaxies.
By immense, we mean ten times the size of the Milky Way immense. Ten quadrillion septillion tons immense, aka "Utterly makes a mockery of our language's ability to describe the concept of"-immense. English is only designed up to the scale of fat people, maybe elephants. By the time you get to these galaxies you have to wave around numbers no-one's even heard of, or say "1.2E46 kg" for the few with scientific notation skills.
The study not only found these fantasti-vast things, we now know how they happened. You don't get to be a big star (collection) by just believing in yourself - you get there by eating other galaxies, which may be why Disney just sticks with the "believing in yourself" bit. Each of these gargantuan galaxies results from at least two mergers, sub-stupidly-large galaxies ramming each other in an event like a thousand Micheal Bay clones in a fireworks factory the size of space itself.
So the next time you hear about a big corporate merger, remember it's like two hydrogen atoms talking about maybe making a molecule. There's big stuff out there, and some people are cool enough to look for it.
Posted by Luke McKinney.
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