- Common Name: Elliptical galaxy
- Hubble Sequence Class: Elliptical
- Denotes: E1, E2, E3, E4, E5, E6 or E7
- Appearance Characteristics: Ellipsoidal Shaped
- Example Galaxies: IC 1101 and Maffei 1
12 Elliptical Galaxy Facts for Kids
- An elliptical galaxy is a type of galaxy on the Hubble sequence classification scheme.
- It’s estimated that 60% of all galaxies in the observable universe are elliptical galaxies.
- There are eight main types of elliptical galaxies, and they are classified between E0, E1, E2, E3, E4, E5, E6 and E7.
- The best way to understand the eight main types of elliptical galaxies is simple, an E0 will have a near perfect circular shape, while a E7 will be very stretched out. Everything classified between E0 and E7 is a variant of both extremes.
- The shape of an elliptical galaxy is ellipsoidal without any noticeable features.
- The luminosity of elliptical galaxies can vary quite a bit. Some are as bright as 10 quadrillion times our sun (supergiant elliptical galaxies) or as dim as a 100 thousand times our sun (dwarf elliptical galaxies).
- An elliptical galaxy has very low, if any active star formation, which is due to their lack of dust and gas that would support the formation of a star.
- The elliptical galaxy IC 1101 is the largest galaxy in the observable universe, with an estimated diameter of 2,000 kilolight-years.
- The elliptical galaxy Maffei 1 is the closest elliptical galaxy to the planet Earth.
- An example of an E1 elliptical galaxy is Messier 105, also known as NGC 3379.
- An example of an E2 elliptical galaxy is Messier 49, also known as NGC 4472.
- An example of an E5 elliptical galaxy is Messier 59, also known as NGC 4621.
Elliptical Galaxy Pictures
A photo of the elliptical galaxy NGC 3160.
A photo of the elliptical galaxy NGC 2678.
A photo of the elliptical galaxy NGC 4150.
Additional Resources with Elliptical Galaxy Facts
- Galaxy Types and Classifications – Learn about the different types of galaxies, like the elliptical galaxy on the Cornell website.
- Pictures of Elliptical Galaxies – View some amazing pictures of elliptical galaxies on the HubbleSite.org website.
- Elliptical Galaxy – Wikipedia – Explore elliptical galaxies more in-depth on the Wikipedia website.