08 April, 2011

A-Z Blogging Challenge: G Stands For: Galaxies

Up to 30 septillion stars make up the 80 billion or so galaxies in the universe. A galaxy consists of stars, stellar remnants, dust, and dark matter.

There are three major types: spiral, elliptical, and irregular.

An example of a spiral galaxy:

And example of an elliptical galaxy:

And example of an irregular galaxy:

Galaxies also form clusters and superclusters, the latter of which are galaxies that are not gravitationally bound to one another. Such groups make up much of the structure of the universe.

The Virgo Supercluster includes the Virgo Cluster and the Local Group. Andromeda and the Milky Way are included in the Local Group--and, therefore, us. The Virgo Supercluster's diameter is 33 megaparsecs, which is the equivalent of 110 light years.




Do you think there's a chance of alien life in one of those billions of galaxies? Do you think people will ever find a way to cross "galactic" distances efficiently?

-----The Golden Eagle
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septembermom said...

This is a very informative post. I can't wait to show my boys when they get home from school. I learned a few things too. Thanks!

Josh Hoyt said...

According to life the universe and everything we don't even exist so I guess that it is impossible to have life on other planets :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad so many of you are posting about space - I'm learning a lot this month. And I'm sure we're not the only ones out there. (Just don't think they're coming here to probe butts, if you know what I mean.)

Tiger85 said...

Wow Alex, I needed a good laugh today thanks. I really enjoyed this post. I've always been interested in space. When I was 7 I wanted to be an astronaut until I had a dream I got hit off the ship and flew into space. LOL I should have got over this but I never did. LOL It's possible there are aliens but I've never seen one. =)


Siv Maria said...

I am looking forward to taking out my telescope again, it is truely beautiful to gaze at the stars and planets. I think we are not alone. Earth being a relatively new planet in a new solar system, why would there not be life out there? Who knows maybe we are seeds of that other life...that would explain alot :)

Michael Offutt said...

There may be a fourth type of galaxy too. I've recently read about the existence of possible "dark matter" galaxies made of things so ancient, that the light in them has all faded and the matter has gone dark.

Old Kitty said...

Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away..!!

These are lovely pics!! Thanks for the amazing amount of info into galaxies!! Aren't they amazing??!!! We're in the Virgo Cluster!! Yay! Virgos are planners and perfectionists! Thought I'd say that.

Lovely! Take care

Hannah Kincade said...

I'm sure we're not the only ones. I mean, it's a BIG universe. I agree with Alex, they're probably not interested in our butts.

Kelly M. Olsen said...

I'm very impressed by your blog, and the amount of research and natural knowledge you display in your posts. Great looking blog with wonderful photos to accompany the posts. I'm now a follower.

Jack Edwards Poetry said...

Thanks for the informative post.

M Pax said...

Andromeda is fantastic in smaller telescopes as you can see its two companion galaxies with it. Andromeda is almost too big for the larger telescopes. The whole thing doesn't fit in the eyepiece.

I love looking at galaxies.

the writing pad said...

Wouldn't it be wierder if it is 'just us' than if it isn't? Especially in the light of these mind-boggling figures on the extent of the Galaxies?
Enjoyed - as always - the user friendly stats and wonderful images in your post :-)
All best

Brian said...

For some reason Star Wars came to mind...maybe the other gallaxy thing. Have a great weekend...and may the furs be with you!

Emily Rose said...

Wow, that's a lot of stars and galaxies. I have to imagine there is some life out there of some kind.

Rusty Webb said...

Yes, I think life is out there.

No, I don't think we, or they, can transverse the distance...yet.

Michelle Merrill said...

Interesting as always :) Thanks for sharing your knowledge with me. Galaxies are amazing. I think if something is supposed to be, like crossing galaxies, then it will be. It might just take time.

Angela Ackerman said...

Someone recently passed around a video that shows the size of the earth in relation to all the other planets and starts out there. Watching it, I was in awe. We are such a small, small part of the big picture.

Have you seen it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEheh1BH34Q

Have a great weekend!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Lucy Adams said...

I just went to Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday and watched an Imax film on the Hubble Telescope. Mind-boggling how far that telescope can see into the universe and the number of galaxies swirling in and out of existence every lightyear.

If I visit your blog every day during the A to Z, I'll be a genius by the time it's over.


TheyCallMeVarmit said...

The Galazy is amazing, but sure can make a body feel small and insignifigant. Beautiful images!

Melissa Bradley said...

Very informative and cool post. These photos are amazing. I don't think we're alone in the universe and I do hope that one day we will find a way to cross the stars.

Grammy said...

Hi, Thanks for visiting my blog, and leaving such clever comments. As fascinating as the subject is, I really don't believe there are other beings out there, except for the angels that were created and I believe that there are demons and angels that surround us, always at war with one another. I also believe that God is in control of the whole shebang...But I do love reading science fiction and fantasy. Thanks for the thought provoking posting.

Liz P said...

The universe is just so unfathomably big. How can there not be something else out there? If we exist here, we cannot be the only ones...

But even if there were, and even if they were more intelligent than us, the possibility of traveling that distance to find us and succeeding is slim to none.

But we can dream. And write. :)

Trisha said...

Galaxies, like everything else about space, are awesome! :D

Darlyn said...

That is totally a good post! And very informative =)

jabblog said...

The heavens are immense and immeasurable and the universe is expanding - what exciting things are being discovered all the time.

Deni Krueger said...

I think it would be an awfully lonely place if we were the only ones out there.

The Golden Eagle said...

Septembermom: You're welcome! :)

Josh: I hope there is!

Alex: So am I.

What is it with aliens and the idea they probe butts? :P

Tiger85: Glad you enjoyed the post!

That sounds like a disturbing dream--I know I'd be scared if I was hit off a ship!

Me, neither. ;)

Siv: I've only looked through a telescope a few times--but those were amazing experiences.

That would be a shattering revelation!

Michael: Really? Wow. Thanks for sharing that bit of information!

Old Kitty: Sounds like the start of a story! :)

You're welcome!

I hadn't known that about Virgos. LOL.

Hannah: Well, I have to say I'm kinda glad about that . . . ;)

Kelly: Thank you so much! It's great to meet you--welcome to The Eagle's Aerial Perspective. :)

Jack: You're welcome! Thanks for coming by.

M: I hadn't known that! How cool.

I haven't seen one through a telescope--but I will, sometime!

The Golden Eagle said...

Karla: That's what I think, too.

Anytime! I'm glad you're enjoying my posts. :)

Brian: May the furs be with you, too! ;)

Emily: Septillion is a pretty big number. :P

Rusty: And the "yet" part is the most attractive--imagine what might happen if people (or other life) find a way of traveling across huge distances.

Michelle: Sure thing. :)

I agree--once technology comes along further, and there are more breakthroughs, something might emerge. Which would be awesome.

Angela: Wow.

Thank you for sharing the video! I hadn't seen that before--just wow. We're so amazing small compared to the rest of the universe.

Lucy: It sounds like an amazing experience! :)

LOL. Well, I hope you continue to find something worthwhile in my posts!

Varmit: It can, true. Humans are just a 7x10^27 atoms, after all. :P

Glad you enjoyed them!

Melissa: Thank you!

Me, too. :)

Rose: You're welcome! I really enjoyed visiting your blog and reading your posts.

I do believe that there are other life forms out there in the universe--but, after all, there's nothing by speculation at this point.

Thank you for commenting! :)

Liz: You're definitely "write" about that. :)

(Ahem. Bad joke.)

Trisha: Total agreement!

Darlyn: Thank you! :)

Jabblog: Exactly. There are so many things still unknown.

Deni: Can you imagine what it would be like, if we made contact with another civilization? That would be . . . mind-blowing.

Tomara Armstrong said...

Every time I pop over here, you totally school me. I am loving every post.

Great stuff!

Nas Dean said...

Very impressive and totally amazing. Also thought provoking.

The Golden Eagle said...

Tomara: I'm glad you like my A-Z posts! :)

Nas: Galaxies certainly are impressive.