Related topics: galaxies · star formation

The nature of obscured active galactic nuclei

Most galaxies host a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at their nucleus, one whose mass exceeds a million solar-masses. When material actively accretes onto the SMBH, associated processes can produce an active galactic nucleus ...

Hubble takes closer look at not-so-'dead' neighbor

Many of the best-loved galaxies in the cosmos are remarkably large, close, massive, bright, or beautiful, often with an unusual or intriguing structure or history. However, it takes all kinds to make a universe—as demonstrated ...

Image: Hubble sees a galaxy bucking the trend

This luminous orb is the galaxy NGC 4621, better known as Messier 59. As this latter moniker indicates, the galaxy is listed in the famous catalog of deep-sky objects compiled by French comet-hunter Charles Messier in the ...

Elliptical galaxies shed new light on dark matter

In the 1930s, it was first noticed that the dynamics of astrophysical objects (galaxies, galaxy clusters and the universe itself) required an invisible and unknown form of mass, known now as dark matter. Strong mass discrepancies ...

The giant galaxy around the giant black hole

On April 10, 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) unveiled the first-ever image of a black hole's event horizon, the area beyond which light cannot escape the immense gravity of the black hole. That giant black hole, with ...

Elliptical elegance

A glittering host of galaxies populate this rich image taken with ESO's VLT Survey Telescope, a state-of-the-art 2.6-m telescope designed for surveying the sky in visible light. The features of the multitude of galaxies strewn ...

A peculiar galactic clash

Galaxies are not static islands of stars—they are dynamic and ever-changing, constantly on the move through the darkness of the Universe. Sometimes, as seen in this spectacular Hubble image of Arp 256, galaxies can collide ...

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Elliptical galaxy

An elliptical galaxy is a galaxy having an approximately ellipsoidal shape and a smooth, nearly featureless brightness profile. They range in shape from nearly spherical to highly flattened and in size from hundreds of millions to over one trillion stars.

Elliptical galaxies are one of the three main classes of galaxy originally described by Edwin Hubble in his 1936 work “The Realm of the Nebulae”, along with spiral and lenticular galaxies.

Most elliptical galaxies are composed of older, low-mass stars, with a sparse interstellar medium and minimal star formation activity. They are surrounded by large numbers of globular clusters. Elliptical galaxies are believed to make up approximately 10-15% of galaxies in the local Universe but are not the dominant type of galaxy in the universe overall. They are preferentially found close to the centers of galaxy clusters and are less common in the early Universe.

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