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Galactic Distinctions

7 Apr 2011, 15:49 UTC
Galactic Distinctions
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Spiral galaxies, ah, are definitely among our universe’s most elegant creations. Whenever spiral galaxies struck my mind, I like to think about their graceful curving arms, traced by millions of...

The Whirlpool Galaxy; Credit: European Space Agency & NASA
Spiral galaxies, ah, are definitely among our universe’s most elegant creations. Whenever spiral galaxies struck my mind, I like to think about their graceful curving arms, traced by millions of blue-giant stars and puffs of pink nebulosity, contrast with the bulging nucleus, where hundred-billion-stars are nestled.
Compared with spirals, elliptical galaxies are rather dumpy. Ellipticals are star piles, vast spherical or football-shaped blobs of yellow and red stars. Still, with these odds, I do like elliptical galaxies.
Anyway, this whole distinction of galaxies is enough to raise an alarm for scientific skeptics. Yes, here are the questions for earthlings – Why did different types of galaxies form after the Big Bang? Why are they not all spirals? Or even, ellipticals? Until mid 1980’s, the astronomers made assumptions that as the Universe’s primordial gas clouds collapsed into galaxies one to two billions years after the Big Bang, a galaxy’s shape was determined by the manner in which the clouds collapsed.
Fast spinning ...

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