At a Glance: Three Types of Galaxies

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How many types or shapes of galaxies are there?

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach.

All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA, ESA, and STScI except:
·       Milky Way panoramas courtesy of ESO/Y. Beletsky and ESO/Bruno Gilli
·       Photos of Edwin Hubble courtesy of Huntington Library
·       Andromeda Galaxy image courtesy of Bill Schoening, Vanessa Harvey/REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF
·       Photo of Henrietta Leavitt courtesy of American Institute of Physics, Emilio Segrè Visual Archives
·       M33, M94, NGC 55, M49, and M84 images courtesy of NOAO/AURA/NSF
·       NGC 6822 image courtesy of Local Group Galaxies Survey Team/NOAO/AURA/NSF
·       NGC 1232 image courtesy of ESO/P. Grosbøl
·       NGC 4449 image courtesy of Digital Sky Survey/AURA
·       NGC 1300 image courtesy of Hillary Mathis/NOAO/AURA/NSF
·       Small Magellanic Cloud image courtesy of F. Winkler/Middlebury College, the MCELS Team, and NOAO/AURA/NSF
·       NGC 55 color image courtesy of T. A. Rector/NOAO/AURA/NSF
Written by Vanessa Thomas
Designed by John Godfrey 
Music courtesy of Association Production Music


 Rotating planet with atmosphere, galaxies in space as backdrop. Text, at a Glance. Three types of galaxies. 

Image, a swirl of stars twists in space. 

Text, This is a spiral galaxy, with arms that curl around the galaxy's core. 

Many spiral galaxies resemble pinwheels, but they can look different if seen from a different angle. 

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is a spiral much like this one. 

This oval-shaped haze of stars is an elliptical galaxy. 

Often round or egg-shaped ellipticals usually appear smooth and featureless. 

The universe's largest galaxies are ellipticals, but ellipticals can be small as well. 

This mess of stars is known as an irregular galaxy. 

Irregular galaxies have no defined shape or structure. 

They are typically smaller than other galaxies. All three images of galaxies spin.