Large Celestial Bodies: What is the Largest Object in Space?
Space is vast – our own planet, which basically consists of everything most of us know, understand, and are familiar with, makes up a very tiny part of the entire universe. In fact, the entire galaxy (the Milky Way Galaxy) makes up far less than 1% of the universe. The sun, the biggest celestial body in our own solar system, is nothing compared to some of the largest celestial objects that exist. That begs the question – what is the largest celestial object in outer space?
The largest objects in space are generally black holes. Black holes are believed to form after a star collapses, typically when its energy is no longer sufficient enough to continue to maintain its structure. When a star collapses, a massive transformation occurs, causing massive areas to turn into voids where nothing can escape, not even light.
The largest black hole that we know of is known as OJ 287. OJ 287 is a black hole that is located about 3.5 billion light years away from us. This object has the mass of 18 billion solar masses – in other words, the mass of OJ 287 is 18 billion times that of our own sun!
With that said, OJ 287 is only the largest known black hole. We have only observed a tiny fraction of the universe. The existence of celestial bodies larger than OJ 287 is almost guaranteed. To date, some scientists speculate that the maximum size of a black hole can reach 50 billion solar masses – in other words, 50 billion times larger than our own sun!