A type of galaxy that contains mostly old stars and little dust or gas and is shaped from nearly spherical to highly elliptical. Unlike spiral galaxies that are flat shaped and exhibit much structure, elliptical galaxies are more 3-dimensionally shaped with little structure. Their stars orbit somewhat randomly around the galaxy centre.

Elliptical galaxies are common in the Universe but aren't the dominant form of galaxy. They are believed to make up approx. 10-15% of galaxies in the Virgo Supercluster. Examples include, M87, M60, M105, IC 1101, Maffei 1 and M32.

M60 Elliptical galaxy by the Hubble Space Telescope (credit:- NASA, The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI))

Glossary A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Sky Highlights - February 2017

Comets
Comet Encke (2P/Encke) now visible in the western sky during evening twilight
Now is the last good chance to see comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova before it dramatically fades

Conjunction
Mars passes less than 1 degree north of Uranus on February 27th

Minor Planet
Vesta now visible with binoculars and small telescopes.

The Planets
This Month's Guide

Algol Minima
Algol eclipse dates and times for February 2017

Northern Hemisphere
Evening
Southwest:- Venus (mag. -4.8), Mars (mag. +1.1 to +1.3), Uranus (mag. +5.9)
Midnight
East:- Jupiter (mag. -2.1 to -2.3)
Morning
South:- Jupiter
Southeast:- Saturn (mag. +0.6)

Southern Hemisphere
Evening
West:- Venus, Mars, Uranus
Midnight
East:- Jupiter
Morning
North:- Jupiter
East:- Saturn, Mercury (mag. -0.2 - first half of month)

Deep Sky
Naked eye / binoculars:-
Messier 45 - M45 - The Pleiades (Open Cluster)
The Hyades - Open Cluster
Messier 44 - M44 - The Praesepe (Open Cluster)
Messier 35 - M35 - Open Cluster
Messier 42 - M42 - The Great Orion Nebula (Emission/Reflection)

Small telescopes:-
Messier 36 - M36 - Open Cluster
Messier 37 - M37 - Open Cluster
Messier 38 - M38 - Open Cluster

Shop at Amazon US

Shop at Amazon US

Current Moon Phase

CURRENT MOON

Contributions

If you like the website and want to contribute to the running costs then please do so below. All contributions are most welcome.