Astronomy Answers
Universe Family Tree: Galaxy


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  ┌──
Molecular Cloud
Type
: 
Galaxy Cluster
───
Galaxy
──┼──
Star Cluster
     :                
  └──
Interstellar Medium
Spiral Galaxy
Elliptical Galaxy
Barred Spiral Galaxy
Lenticular Galaxy
Irregular Galaxy
Quasar
BL-Lac Galaxy
Radio Galaxy
Seyfert Galaxy
N Galaxy
Size
: 
5 Mpc
───
50 kpc
─────
5 pc
Earth
: 
Local Group
───
the Galaxy
─────
(none)

A galaxy is a large collection of stars, gaseous clouds, and interstellar medium that are all bound together by gravity and that is separated from other galaxies by vast expanses of virtually starless space.

Galaxies come in different kinds. The classification scheme used most often today is due to Edwin Hubble (of Hubble-constant fame). In Hubble's scheme, there are four major galaxy classes which may each be subdivided. The major galaxy classes are:

In addition to this classification scheme that is based on visual appearance, galaxies are also classified based on how they behave at other wavelengths:

Our own galaxy is a spiral galaxy, probably of type Sb or Sc.



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[Tree][Galaxy Cluster][Stellar Cluster]


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Last updated: 2016-02-07