When the average individual looks up at the sky at night time, they take great pleasure in seeing the mass of stars which shine so brightly. They do not realize that there is much more to what they are looking at. No matter where they are looking at towards the sky, they will be staring at a galaxy.

What are Galaxies?

Galaxies are groups of objects which are found in the sky. These objects are:

  • Stars
  • Planets
  • Moons
  • Comets
  • Nebulae
  • Asteroids
  • Dust
  • Neutron stars
  • Black holes

When one looks beyond the stars, they soon see that there is a whole new outer world to be discovered. There are plenty of ways to learn more about this, such as documentaries, researching the internet, books and courses.

Types of Galaxies

There are actually four types of galaxies which have been discovered by scientists to date, and these are:

  • Spiral galaxy

The spiral galaxy looks like a disc which is flat and spiral in shape. In the center of the disc is a nucleus. These galaxies have no spiral arms to them. Within the spiral galaxy category, there are four different groups, and an example of a spiral galaxy is the Milky Way.

  • Barred spiral galaxy

This galaxy is much like the spiral galaxy. There is a big difference, however, as it has arms which jut out from a bar of stars that are straight. The arms do not emit from the center of the galaxy. These two contain many subgroups. Scientists now consider that the Milky Way is actually in the classification of a barred spiral galaxy.

  • Elliptical galaxy

There is variation in the shapes of these galaxies from being round to elongated. They do not have a prominent bright nucleus.

  • Irregular galaxy

These galaxies have no specific shape or any type of structure to them. They can vary in size. There have only been two classifications within them that have been identified as irregular to date.

Galaxy Research

While there are four main types of galaxies which are known about today, it is believed that there are billions of galaxies that make up the entire universe. Scientists are now trying to study the universe as a whole, rather than focusing on a specific galaxy.

Earth is part of a galaxy, and the galaxy which the earth resides in is believed to be made up of over 100 billion stars. The Milky Way is believed to be made up of about 40 galaxies.