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Table of Contents Enchanted Learning
All About Astronomy
Site Index
Our Solar System Stars Glossary Printables, Worksheets, and Activities
The Sun The Planets The Moon Asteroids Kuiper Belt Comets Meteors Astronomers

The Stars
Lifecycle Nuclear Fusion Brightest Stars Galaxies Other Solar Systems Constellations Why Stars Twinkle
Birth Death Star Types Closest Stars Nebulae Major Stars The Zodiac Activities, Links

GALAXIES

Spiral Galaxies Elliptical Galaxies Irregular Galaxies Lenticular Galaxies Active Galaxies Clusters of Galaxies

A galaxy is a huge group of stars, dust, gas, and other celestial bodies bound together by gravitational forces. There are spiral, elliptical, and irregularly shaped galaxies. Galaxies contain anywhere from 100,000 to 3,000,000,000,000 stars.

There are three major types of galaxies: spiral (with arms), elliptical (no arm), and irregular (without rotational symmetry). Galaxies radiate a continuous spectrum of energy. Some radiate radio waves, X rays, and infrared, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

The Earth, Sun and the rest of our solar system are a tiny part of the Milky Way Galaxy, a spiral galaxy.

The Milky way Galaxy is just one galaxy in a group of galaxies called the Local Group. Within the Local Group, the Milky Way Galaxy is moving about 300 km/sec (towards the constellation Virgo).

The galaxy that is nearest to our galaxy is the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy, which is about 24 kiloparsecs or 80,000 light years from us. The Large Magellanic Cloud is another close galaxy; it is about 50 kiloparsecs from us.

Galaxy Activity:
Make a galaxy of stars from glitter or sand on black paper


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