Comparing Galaxies

The sixteenth conceptual objective, “I can compare the Milky Way Galaxy to other galaxies”, has been discussed in class frequently. Galaxies vary in color, size, and shape. Galaxies are classified in three major categories: spiral galaxies, elliptical galaxies, and irregular galaxies. Spiral galaxies look like flat white disks with yellowish bulges at the center. The Milky Way is classified as a spiral galaxy. Elliptical galaxies are red, round, and longer in one direction. Irregular galaxies are neither disk-like nor round. Galaxies appear to have different colors because of the different kind of stars that populate them. Unlike the elliptical galaxies, spiral galaxies like the Milky Way Galaxy contain stars of all different colors and ages. Elliptical galaxies contain older stars. As time progresses, galaxies continue to move farther and farther apart from each other. In class, we exercised this concept in the Lecture-Tutorial book. In the section titled, “Galaxy Classification”, in the Lecture-Tutorial book, we were given pictures of various galaxies and were asked to classify them as either elliptical or spiral. In order to sort galaxies, it is important to find patterns in terms of shape, size, color, and distinct features. This tutorial has given me a better understanding of how the Milky Way Galaxy can be compared to other galaxies.

The article I chose, “Scientists Just Discovered a Brand-New Type of Galaxy”, discusses how galaxies are categorized. Recently, galaxies could be sorted into three groups: spiral, elliptical and irregular. However, recently scientists discovered a rare type of galaxy. It is located nearly 400 million light-years away from Earth. Its structure has never been identified before. The galaxy, PGC 100714, is a ring galaxy. This galaxy could technically be considered an irregular galaxy. Ring galaxies are divided into two parts. “A ring of young blue stars that shine very brightly on the outside, surrounding a well-defined core of older, less luminous stars in the centre”, is the best description of one of these galaxies. They are very uncommon, that is why this discovery has raised some heads. The two rings differ in age incredibly, this is shown by the color of them. The two parts of this galaxy have form in  much different time periods, scientists suggest. This discovery will help astronomers understand more about the universe.

This article compares to the sixteenth conceptual objective because it compares the Milky Way Galaxy to other galaxies in the universe. Determining certain characteristics of galaxies allows astronomers to place them into categories. This article discusses a recent discovery of a galaxy that does not compare to our galaxy. In order to make observations about our own galaxy, astronomers must make comparisons to other galaxies. This specific galaxy allows astronomers to contrast our galaxy from others. This article was very interesting to me, as it allowed me to get a better understanding of how galaxies can be compared and contrasted.


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