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Good Luck Sorting This Hat

24 Mar 2020, 16:00 UTC
Good Luck Sorting This Hat
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Editor’s note: Astrobites is a graduate-student-run organization that digests astrophysical literature for undergraduate students. As part of the partnership between the AAS and astrobites, we occasionally repost astrobites content here at AAS Nova. We hope you enjoy this post from astrobites; the original can be viewed at astrobites.org.
Title: The Strikingly Metal-rich Halo of the Sombrero Galaxy
Authors: Roger E. Cohen, et al.
First Author’s Institution: Space Telescope Science Institute
Status: Published in ApJ
Is This Galaxy an Elliptical (Gryffindor) or Ordinary Spiral (Slytherin)?
The Sombrero galaxy, famous for its hat-like shape, has been observed many times. However, it maintains a certain level of mystery: much like the sorting hat struggled to sort Harry Potter into a Hogwarts house, the Sombrero galaxy is difficult to sort into a galaxy classification. According to Hubble’s galaxy classification system, galaxies fit into four main categories: ellipticals, ordinary spirals, barred spirals, and irregulars. We have a fantastic edge-on view of the Sombrero galaxy, which allows us to image both its disk and hazy bulge, as seen in the cover image above. Because of its disk structure and lack of developed spiral arms, many astronomers classify the Sombrero galaxy as an early-type spiral. However, there ...

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