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Galaxy Classification. Edwin Hubble was the first person to establish the distances to other galaxies. Because he studied so many galaxies, he began to classify them into different types. The shape and color of a galaxy tell us a lot about the events that have happened within that galaxy.

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slide2
Edwin Hubble was the first person to establish the distances to other galaxies.
  • Because he studied so many galaxies, he began to classify them into different types.
  • The shape and color of a galaxy tell us a lot about the events that have happened within that galaxy.
4 general types of galaxies
4 General Types of Galaxies
  • Elliptical – spherical to football-shaped
  • Spiral – like a propeller
  • Barred Spiral – similar to a spiral, but with a straight bar through the nucleus
  • Irregular – no well-defined shape
elliptical galaxies
Elliptical Galaxies
  • Look like enormous globular clusters.
  • Elliptical galaxies are often bigger than spiral galaxies.
  • Stars are yellow & red, with very little free dust & gas.
  • These galaxies are old & no longer forming new stars.
elliptical galaxies1
Elliptical Galaxies
  • Elliptical galaxies may form from the collision of 2 or more spiral galaxies.
  • Spherical elliptical galaxies are E0’s. Very elongated ellipticals (football shaped) are E7’s.
  • All ellipticals fall in the E0 to E7 range.
spiral galaxies
Spiral Galaxies
  • Like our own Milky Way, all spiral galaxies have a nuclear bulge, and at least 2 spiral or propeller-shaped arms, with a halo of gas, dust, stars, and globular clusters.
  • Spiral galaxies are classified as Sa, Sb, or Sc depending on the size of the nucleus & how tightly the arms are wrapped.
barred spiral galaxies
Barred Spiral Galaxies
  • Barred Spiral galaxies (SB) are classified just like ordinary spiral galaxies: SBa, SBb, SBc.
  • Our own Milky Way is probably an SBb type galaxy, similar to Andromeda, but with a central bar.
slide17

In a barred

spiral, the

arms don’t

“grow”

directly

from the

nucleus.

This is NGC

1365.

irregular galaxies
Irregular Galaxies
  • Several famous galaxies are irregular and have no definite shape.
  • The Large & Small Magellanic Clouds, and the Cartwheel Galaxy are irregular.
  • These galaxies are full of regions of new star formation!
irregular galaxies 2
Irregular Galaxies 2
  • Irregular galaxies are often the result of collisions between galaxies.
  • Our own Milky Way cut a single smaller galaxy like a buzz saw blade.
  • The Large & Small Magellanic Clouds are the “chips” left over from that round of cannibalism.
now you try hubble s scheme
Now you try Hubble’s scheme.
  • Homework: Classify the 15 galaxies on the handout.
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