The Coma Cluster of Galaxies
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA.
Elliptical galaxies come in a range of shapes and sizes. They can be
circular or egg-shaped. They can be very large and bright (giants!)
or rather small and dim (dwarfs!). Elliptical galaxies are old. They
formed all their stars a long time ago, and no new stars are being
If you have the chance to see one through a small telescope, it will
probably look just like a fuzzy smudge to you, a piece of lint. But
it is really formed of many billions of stars orbitting the center of
the galaxy, just as the Earth orbits the Sun. All the light of the
galaxy comes from the stars.
Galaxies like to live together in groups called clusters. In
clusters, there are hundreds of galaxies. Most of the galaxies in
clusters are elliptical galaxies.
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