Milky Way Galaxy Facts

Milky Way Galaxy Facts

The Milky Way Galaxy is our home galaxy in the universe. It is a fairly typical barred spiral with four major arms in its disk, at least one spur, and a newly discovered outer arm. The galactic centre, which is located about 26,000 light-years from Earth, contains at least one supermassive black hole (called Sagittarius […]

Andromeda Galaxy Facts

Andromeda Galaxy Facts

The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is the closest large galaxy to the Milky Way and is one of a few galaxies that can be seen unaided from the Earth. In approximately 4.5 billion years the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way are expected to collide and the result will be a giant elliptical galaxy. Andromeda is accompanied […]

Sombrero Galaxy Facts

Sombrero Galaxy Facts

The Sombrero Galaxy is one of the most unusual looking barred spiral galaxies visible from Earth. Its bright nucleus, large central bulge and spiral arms threaded through with a thick dust lane make it look a little like a hat from Mexico. The dust lane is a ring that circles the bulge of the galaxy, and […]

Whirlpool Galaxy Facts

Whirlpool Galaxy Facts

The Whirlpool Galaxy is a familiar one to stargazers and among the many close galaxy neighbors to our own Milky Way. Because of its shape, it was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral by astronomers. Today, it interests astronomers due to its spiral structure and the interaction it appears to be having […]

Triangulum Galaxy Facts

Triangulum Galaxy Facts

The Triangulum Galaxy, also known as M33, is one of the closest spiral galaxies to the Milky Way. It lies 3 million light-years away, in the constellation Triangulum. The closest spiral is the Andromeda Galaxy, at a distance of 2.5 million light-years. All three are members of the Local Group, a collection of about 50 […]

Magellanic Clouds Facts

Magellanic Clouds Facts

The Large Magellanic cloud is a nearby galaxy once considered to be an irregular type until astronomers studied it more closely. It now turns out to be an irregular with a bar across its heart. It may once have been a spiral. The LMC (as it is known) is visible in Earth’s Southern Hemisphere skies, […]

Pinwheel Galaxy Facts

Pinwheel Galaxy Facts

The Pinwheel Galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major (the Greater Bear) is a “grand design” spiral, meaning that it has well-defined spiral arms and dust lanes that extend all the way around the body of the galaxy. It was discovered in 1781 by astronomer Pierre Méchain, and included as object number 101 in Charles Messier’s […]

M87 Galaxy Facts

M87 Galaxy Facts

The massive galaxy M87 is the most spectacular example of an elliptical galaxy we can see from Earth. The most fascinating feature of this galaxy is its jet, which is visible in optical light as well as x-rays and radio emissions. The jet extends from the central supermassive black hole of the galaxy and reaches […]

Antennae Galaxies Facts

Antennae Galaxies Facts

The Antennae is a pair of spiral galaxies that are interacting and mingling their stars. They began their galactic dance over a few hundred million years ago and are currently in a period where their colliding gas clouds are bursting with new star formation. As the two galaxies merge, their gravitational interactions pull long tails […]