HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — An isolated cloud larger than the Milky Way has been discovered by the research team at the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH).
The cloud, located in a “no-man’s land” for galaxies, is full of hot gas with temperatures upwards of 10,000,000 degrees Kelvin (K) and a mass 10 billion times bigger than the sun, according to a news release from the university.
“This is an exciting and also a surprising discovery,” said Dr. Ming Sun, an associate professor who led the team. “It demonstrates that new surprises are always out there in astronomy, as the oldest of the natural sciences.”
Sun’s team, which included Dr. Chong Ge, Dr. Rongxin Luo, and Tim Edge, was found using the European Space Agency’s (ESA) X-ray multi-mirror mission, Europe’s flagship X-ray telescope. It is located in Abell 1367, which contains approximately 70 galaxies and is 300 million light years from Earth.