Related topics: galaxies · star formation

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 ...

Image: Hubble finds the calm after the galactic storm

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope caught sight of a soft, diffuse-looking galaxy that is probably the aftermath of a long-ago galactic collision. Two spiral galaxies, each perhaps much like the Milky Way, swirled together ...

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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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