Biggest, Brightest, Boldest: The 7 Most EXTREME Things in Space

You're a small blip in a big, big universe...

Recently, a new galaxy was discovered far, far away. To be exact it's a quasar 2 billion light years away, and its center contains a massive black hole, the largest uncovered to date. This black hole and the 7 other examples below prove how extremely mind-blowing the universe is and how incredibly small we are in comparison. 

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The Biggest Planet in the Solar System

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If you remember anything from grade school science, you probably already know that Jupiter is the largest planet in Earth's solar system. But the extremes don't end there:

  • Jupiter has the most mass (i.e. it's the heaviest planet).
  • It has the strongest gravitational pull.
  • Jupiter also rotates the fastest (one day on Jupiter is 10 hours as opposed to Earth's 24).

Geez, Jupiter... can you stop showing off, now?

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The Most Important Energy Source in the Solar System

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One thing Jupiter does NOT trump is the Sun. It's by far the largest entity in the solar system containing 99.8% of its total mass. It's also the closest star to Earth and life as we know it on our measly little planet depends on it. Outside of the Milky Way Galaxy, however, our Sun is actually pretty average. 

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The Brightest Star in the Night Sky

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As the Earth turns and the sun drops below the horizon, the other stars in the system begin to appear. The brightest of those is Sirius, a.k.a the Dog Star.

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The Most Massive Star in the Universe

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The most massive star, called R136a1, exists somewhere waaaaay out in deep space. It's more than double the size of the next biggest star in the universe.

To put it in a perspective, R136a1 is 265 times more massive and nearly 9 million times more luminous than our Sun. 

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The Densest Stars in the Universe

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Density may not be the most exciting category of extremes, until you check out Neutron stars.

Neutron stars are typically 30,000 to 70,000 times smaller than the sun, BUT even if it were the size of a soup can a Neutron star would still weigh more than the MOON!

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The Most Voluminous Stars in the Universe

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The biggest stars by volume are classified as Red Supergiants. These stars are typically older and have gone through several stages of their life cycle. At a certain point, nuclear fusion occurs in the outer shell of the star, which causes enormous expansion. Known red supergiant range from 200-800 times the diameter of our Sun. 

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The Biggest Bang

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Okay, technically this isn't a space object, but the Big Bang is probably the most highly regarded theory of the universe's creation in science.

In layman's terms, the universe didn't exist except for a singularity. This singularity was a very small, very hot region of space that defied all known laws of physics. Eventually, that singularity rapidly expanded and became the universe. Needless to say, the details of the Big Bang theory are complicated and scientists have only begun to scratch the surface.