Two cosmic beasts of the universe, giant “radio galaxies” twenty-two times the size of the Milky Way, have been discovered in a remarkably small patch of sky. These rare radio-loud galaxies that are almost exclusively large elliptical galaxies –enormous systems dubbed ‘giant radio galaxies with very luminous active galactic nuclei –have been discovered with South Africa’s powerful MeerKAT radio telescope with its unprecedented sensitivity to faint and diffuse radio light. These galaxies are thought to be amongst the largest single objects in the Universe. Whereas normal radio galaxies are fairly common, only a few hundred of these have radio jets exceeding 700 kilo-parsecs in size.
Maxwell Moe, astrophysicist, NASA Einstein Fellow, University of Arizona. Max can be found two nights a week probing the mysteries of the Universe at the Kitt Peak National Observatory.