spiral galaxies

Why Do Galaxies Have Arms?

by Fraser Cain April 3, 2014

Spiral galaxies get their name because of their beautiful spiral shape and iconic arms. But why do galaxies have these spiral shapes, and what causes the arms? Galaxies are some of the most beautiful and inspiring structures in the Universe. As you know, they aren’t solid disks, they’re a gigantic spill of individual stars webbed […]

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‘Green Valley’ Of Galaxies Shows Off Gas And Star Formation

by Elizabeth Howell February 24, 2014

We keep saying this: the universe is more complex than it appears. Conventional thinking in galaxy research postulates that spiral galaxies have star-forming areas, while ellipticals do not due to a lack of gas. While this thinking has been debunked, there’s now emerging research showing a “green valley” of galaxies somewhat in between these two types. […]

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How To Crowdsource Astronomy Without People Messing It Up

by Elizabeth Howell April 9, 2013

Maybe it’s because Jurassic Park is in theaters again, but we at Universe Today sometimes worry about how one person can mess up an otherwise technologically amazing system. It took just one nefarious employee to shut down the dinosaur park’s security fences in the movie and cause havoc. How do we ensure science can fight […]

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Galactic Archaeology: NGC 5907 – The Dragon Clash

by Tammy Plotner February 23, 2012

The sprawling northern constellation of Draco is home to a monumental galactic merger which left a singular spectacle – NGC 5907. Surrounded by an ethereal garment of wispy star trails and currents of stellar material, this spiral galaxy is the survivor of a “clash of the dragons” which may have occurred some 8 to 9 […]

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More to Meets the Eye in M33

by Jon Voisey June 25, 2011

The spiral galaxy M33 is one of the largest galaxies in our local group. This spiral galaxy is moderately tilted when viewed from Earth, displaying a lack of a distinct central bulge but prominent spiral arms. It has only one potential companion galaxy (the Pisces Dwarf) and its spiral arms are so pristine, they have […]

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