Spiral Galaxies

In the article, “Spiral galaxy pair NGC 4302 and NGC 4298”   it describes how astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to take a picture of a pair of spiral galaxies.  This pair offers a glimpse of what our Milky Way galaxy would look like to an outside observer.  The edge-on galaxy is called NGC 4302 and the tilted galaxy is called NGC 4298.  These galaxies look different in the sky because of the way they are positioned but they are very similar in structure and contents.  A typical spiral galaxy has arms of young stars that wind outward from its center.  These galaxies have a central bulge and surrounded by a faint halo of stars.  The NGC 4302 is approximately 60 percent the size of the Milky Way and the NGC 298 is about one-third the size of the Milky Way.

This article correlates with objective 16 “I can compare the Milky Way to other galaxies” because like the article the book “The Essential Cosmic Perspective” states that like the Milky Way other spiral galaxies also have a thin disk and a central bulge.  The bulge merges into a nearly invisible halo.  We also did an exercise in the lecture tutorial book titled “Galaxy Classification.”  We determined the difference between elliptical and spiral galaxies.  We also found out that spiral galaxies have young stars in which the article stated as well.  Spiral galaxies appear blue and the picture the article included, the galaxies were exactly that.

I liked this article because it in fact did give me a glimpse of what our galaxy looks like.  It was interesting to see how these galaxies compare to our own in terms of structure and size.  Overall this article was very helpful to me for this conceptual objective.



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