Before the accelerating universe makes it impossible without FTL to reach other galaxies the advanced civilization in my story aims to create their own super system, which will remain gravitationally bound if expansion remains constant, to the end star formation era and the second stage will survive till the end of the blackhole epoch.

Two systems will be created at a distance close enough that expansion will not separate them in a short time (on a cosmological time scale) but not close enough that they will gravitationally disturb each others stability.

System 1 is a massive galaxy containing 500,000 trillion stars, which for reference is 5,000 times the size of the largest known galaxy IC 1101, the number has been taken from an estimate of there being 250,000 trillion stars within 1 billion light years, the empire has a radius 3 billion light years, red dwarfs will be the majority of transported stars as they can live for trillions of years, it is estimated that 75% to 85% of stars could be red dwarfs.

The number of 500,000 trillion is a rough rounding down of the estimate of suitable stars that can be brought in, this number can be changed if limitations require it.

I have read that there are no limits to the size of a galaxy as long as enough dark matter is present and its density increases further from the core to stabilize the orbit of outer region stars. Following on from my previous question, the method by which the necessary amount of dark matter is transported is undecided but we can assume it is possible.

System 2 which will eventually join system 1 is a system of merging ultra massive blackholes, this is not relevant to the question but it means that that system 1 does not have a central supermassive blackhole, any blackholes that form from new stars created in the transported interstellar medium will be merged with the BH system. The lack of a central blackhole should provide more stability at the core so less turbulent orbital paths should occur.

I am wondering if there are alternatives to the single galaxy of system 1, I had thought that arranging galaxies in a stable orbit so they appeared as a super galaxy of orbiting galaxies but that may involve an even larger dark matter disk and halo which surrounds all the galaxies, also they would likely just merge creating turbulent orbits meaning most of the matter could be kicked out again. An idea like this would be more interesting and visually pleasing to me but seems much less stable and involves too much dark matter.

After the last stars have burned all of their fuel they will be fed to the remaining sole ultra massive blackhole and the civilization will live the rest of their years with very low energy consumption provided by the blackholes radiation but until that time they wish use as much energy as possible provided by stars in the one location together.

Are there any arrangements for this number of stars and volume of dark matter and interstellar medium that would remain stable and bound, other than as a single massive galaxy? Other than collecting and transporting the matter what other issues will the single galaxy or other options face which could put limits on their size and stability?

Additional notes for other arrangements - Something I did not address in the question is the high rate of kick outs in galaxy interactions, this is why it could be messy to cram a large amount of galaxies in a small area, even if they have stellar engines to correct positions this will still be a big problem without a stable arrangement, expansion is not an issue for gravitationally bound structures, which the system will be, this high number of kick outs is what occurs in rich clusters which have a large number of galaxies in a relatively small volume of space.

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    $\begingroup$ Might get away with locking absolutely every celestial body into lagrange points, including the sister galaxy, with appropriate placement of black holes around the captured galaxies... don't know if that's feasible though. $\endgroup$
    – Lemming
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 15:24
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    $\begingroup$ The universe expands only on laaaaarge scales. In this case, laaaaarge scales means larger than the Local Group of galaxies, 10 million light-years across. The are 3 large galaxies in the local group (our own Milky Way, Andromeda and Triangulum), more than two dozen small ones (including the two Magellanic Clouds), and several dwarf ones. The Local Group is a gravitationally bound structure, meaning that its members are not going away and will always be with us. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP The mass I have proposed will be over 1 million times the mass of the final Milkdromeda, I am not sure the amount of matter that will be kicked out through our groups mergers but the richest clusters will have a large proportion of lost matter because of the high speed collisions, that is why strategic placing is key to having a stable system for 100 trillion years. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 18:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Lemming I don't think that will work on such a scale and remain stable. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Lemming The arrangement of the blackholes is not part of the system in question, the mergers can be millions of light years away and moved with engines nearer to the star system when expansion spreads them apart. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


Collecting a large fraction of the stars from a radius of three billion light years is a rather ambitious project, Frankly, it does not seem practical.

A stellar engine for a star like the sun will move the star about 34,000 light years in a billion years. To move it three billion light years (100,000 times further) will take a great deal longer. You have the problem that the star will evolve during that time, and will have effectively gone out within ten billion years. The red dwarfs you are planning to use last much longer, but that's because their luminosity is so low: their power-to-weight ratio is terrible, and using them slows down the assembly of the super-galaxy by a significant factor. Indeed, it may not be possible to do the job at all before the universe comes apart.

There are likely to be political difficulties, too. Will your empire remain stable and dedicated to this project for a hundred billion years? It seems likely that minor empires, ruling a mere handful of galaxies, will arise during the project and object violently to having their stars taken away. They may have far less total power than the grand empire, but what matters is if they can prevent the grand empire removing their stars for a significant period. If they can, then the planned dynamics of the super-galaxy are likely to be disrupted.

There is, however, a much easier alternative. Build a really large black hole, and go and live inside it. This sounds crazy, but the scaling laws work for you in this case. The density of a supermassive black hole is inversely proportional to the square of its mass. A ten-billion solar mass black hole can be constructed using a single large galaxy, in a mere two or so billion years. The tidal forces at its event horizon are insignificant. And you have most of the mass of the galaxy available within the 'hole for your use.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the insight but I feel you and many members on this site are far too pessimistic on far future scenarios, I know from past experience that some only think within a galaxy is the limit for an empire. I don't think that I need to state in my questions that my empire leader is immortal and absolute, and that is final, no political changes etc.. Maybe members are too influenced by previous sci-fi and stories that they cant think big anymore. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ And on the feasibility of the question, the maths allows red dwarfs to make this journey, or if needed feed them with gas,, in a worldbuilding world where all the old sci fi megastructures and scenarios have existed for decades it is always worth giving other/ possibly new or less thought about ideas, enough attention. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't assume an immortal emperor because those often aren't very interesting by themselves. No matter how absolute he is, he's limited by lightspeed, so he cannot have visited every galaxy in his empire: his viceroys must have done large parts of the work of creating the empire. Are they likewise immortal? Since many of them have not seen him for over a billion years when the project starts, they just may have had ideas of their own. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 20:48
  • $\begingroup$ Again you are limited by your perception of an empire over such scales and you are biased to your preference in a story, thinking it will be boring. There are some stories, I wont name all based on an absolute character and the lower characters keep it from going stale, light speed is not a limit to an absolute power in this situation. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 0:57
  • $\begingroup$ Anyway I would rather be away from this site, you can't win on here when the big g needs to keep winning, even if he/she knows they are not right or can even answer on something they don't know about, I know I know more than members on here on certain subjects but the combination of big g and clueless members means my thoughts wont be registered, its a shame but is what it is. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 1:41

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