A spectacular pileup of 14 galaxies soon after the Big Bang has been seen and recorded for the first time

The colossal merger of 14 galaxies more than 12 billion years ago has been captured by astronomers who used the world’s most powerful telescopes to peer 90% of the way across the observable universe.

The cosmic pileup occurred 12.4 bn years ago and the resultant gigantic galaxy will have continued to snowball in size ever since. Calculations suggest that by the present day, hundreds more galaxies would have been swallowed up by the cluster, propelling it to a mass equivalent to 1,000 trillion suns, which would make it the largest known object in the universe.

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Read More The largest thing in the universe? Cosmic collision 12bn years ago created mega-galaxy

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