- Galaxies are giant groups of millions or even trillions of stars. Our own local galaxy is the Milky Way.
- There may be 20 trillion galaxies in the Universe.
- Only three galaxies are visible to the naked eye from Earth besides the Milky Way – the Large and Small Magellanic clouds, and the Andromeda galaxy.
- Although galaxies are vast, they are so far away that they look like fuzzy clouds. Only in 1916 did astronomers realize that they are huge star groups.
- Spiral galaxies are spinning, Catherine-wheel-like galaxies with a dense core and spiraling arms.
- Barred spiral galaxies have just two arms. These are linked across the galaxy’s middle by a bar from which they trail like water from a spinning garden sprinkler.
- Elliptical galaxies are vast, very old, egg-shaped galaxies, made up of as many as a trillion stars.
- Irregular galaxies are galaxies with no obvious shape. They may have formed from the debris of galaxies that crashed into each other.
- Galaxies are often found in groups called clusters. One cluster may have 30 or so galaxies in it.
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