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A Galaxy Characteristics Contents and TypesGalaxies are huge and contain billions of stars They contain all of the stars of the Herzspring-Russell diagram open cluster emission nubula reflection nubula nova remnants and supernova remnants We have three different and distinct types of galaxies which are spiral galaxies eluptical galaxies and last but not least irregular galaxiesThe Milky Way galaxy which is a representative of a spiral galaxy is basically lens-shaped Its circumference is about 120000 light years across On a dark summer night we are able to see a few of the Milky Ways arm The Milky Way as all spiral galaxies rotates on its axis However it does not rotate uniformly The budge rotates much faster than the arms and it takes about 250 million years to make a single rotation In the Milky Way galaxy as in all spiral galaxies there are two star populations Population I Stars are similar to our sun Those stars are relatively young and orbit in circular orbits in the galactic disk The small mass of these stars consists of heavy elements These elements are heavier than helium and include carbon oxygen silicon and iron The Population II Stars are nearly pure hydrogen and helium with a small percentage of heavy elements These stars are in the center of our galaxy Their orbits are random around the bulge These stars as a group usually have less mass and are redder in colorEliptica Galaxies are mostly made of old stars and contain almost no dust These stars can range from dwarf size to very massive These galaxies can be up to two or three times larger than the Milky Way Galaxy They are smooth shaped and have no spiral armsIrregular Galaxies come in many shapes and are usually smaller than the Milky Way Galaxy There are several different types of Irregular Galaxies like Type I Type II PeculiarSome common properties that galaxies are measured by are distance and size
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