There are over 170 billion galaxies in the observable universe yet there is also a “future visibility limit”.
The word galaxy is derived from the Greek word galaxias which literally means “milky”.
This is a reference to the Milky Way galaxy which contains our solar system.
Galaxies are historically categorized by their apparent shape
, of which there are three:
Spiral galaxies are disk-shaped with dusty, curving arms.
Irregular galaxies have an unusual or irregular shape.
An elliptical galaxy, has an ellipse-shaped light profile.
Most galaxies are between 1,000 and 10,000 parsecs in diameter.
A parsec is a astronimcal unit of length.
In astronomical literature, the capitalized word “Galaxy” is used to refer to our galaxy, the Milky Way.
Most galaxies in the universe are actually dwarf galaxies. These are relatively small when compared to other galaxies – roughly one hundredth the size of the Milky Way with only a few billion stars.
Prior to 2021, the most distant and primordial galaxy ever discovered was the catchy z8 GND 5296
, which is approximately 13.1 billion light years away.
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