What does spiral nebula mean?

Last Update: May 30, 2022

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Asked by: Mr. Kane Rice
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Spiral galaxies form a class of galaxy originally described by Edwin Hubble in his 1936 work The Realm of the Nebulae and, as such, form part of the Hubble sequence. Most spiral galaxies consist of a flat, rotating disk containing stars, gas and dust, and a central concentration of stars known as the bulge.

What is a spiral nebula?

Definitions of spiral nebula. a galaxy having a spiral structure; arms containing younger stars spiral out from old stars at the center. synonyms: spiral galaxy. types: Andromeda galaxy. a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda that is visible to the naked eye.

Why are spiral nebulae important?

The discovery that the spiral nebulae are other galaxies similar to the Milky Way again caused a large shift in our understanding of the Universe and our place in it. For example, prior to Hubble's discovery, Shapley believed that the Universe was filled almost entirely by the Milky Way.

What is another name for spiral nebulae?

Spiral nebula

Wilson Observatory. Beginning in 1923, Edwin Hubble observed Cepheid variables in several spiral nebulae, including the so-called "Andromeda Nebula", proving that they are, in fact, entire galaxies outside our own. The term spiral nebula has since fallen out of use.

What were spiral nebulae thought to be?

Astronomers belonging to one camp thought these (spiral nebulae) are objects inside our milkyway galaxy and the astronomers in the other camp thought these objects to be galaxies themselves lying outside the milkyway galaxy.

What does spiral nebula mean?

23 related questions found

Where are the oldest stars found in a spiral galaxy?

The Milky Way's bulge — a bulbous, 10,000 light-year-wide region of stars and dust popping out of the galaxy's spiral disc — is thought to contain some of the oldest stars in the galaxy.

How old is our galaxy?

Astronomers believe that our own Milky Way galaxy is approximately 13.6 billion years old. The newest galaxy we know of formed only about 500 million years ago.

How old are spiral galaxies?

Scientists have captured a picture of the oldest known spiral galaxy, which was formed 12.4 billion years ago.

When was spiral nebulae are discovered?

Evidence for spiral structure in distant galaxies was first noticed by William Parsons, the Third Earl of Rosse, in April 1845 within a few months of the first trial of his great six-foot reflector the “Leviathan of Parsonstown” on 11 February 1845.


What gases are in a nebula?

The roots of the word come from Latin nebula, which means a “mist, vapor, fog, smoke, exhalation.” Nebulae are made up of dust, basic elements such as hydrogen and other ionized gases. They either form through clouds of cold interstellar gas and dust or through the aftermath of a supernova.

What causes spiral galaxies?

Astronomers believe that galaxies have spiral arms because galaxies rotate – or spin around a central axis – and because of something called “density waves.” ... A spiral galaxy's rotation, or spin, bends the waves into spirals. Stars pass through the wave as they orbit the galaxy center.

How many stars are in a spiral galaxy?

It is the dominant member of a small group of about half a dozen galaxies, the M74 galaxy group. In its entirety, it is estimated that M74 is home to about 100 billion stars, making it slightly smaller than our Milky Way.

What is meant by spiral galaxy?

Spiral galaxies are twisted collections of stars and gas that often have beautiful shapes and are made up of hot young stars. ... Most spiral galaxies contain a central bulge surrounded by a flat, rotating disk of stars.


Why do spiral galaxies appear blue in color?

Why do spiral galaxies appear blue in color? Their light output is dominated by hot, massive blue stars. ... They have very little dust or cool gas, and thus have little ongoing star formation.

Why do spiral arms have a blue color?

Why are the arms of spiral galaxies typically blue in color? Stars are forming in the spiral arms so there are high mass, hot, blue stars in the arms. ... Collisions are much more common in large galaxy clusters. Collisions can build elliptical galaxies that are bigger and bigger.

What is the spiral shape?

spiral Add to list Share. A spiral is a coil or curl, like the shape of a piece of hair wound around your finger, a Slinky toy, or a corkscrew. A curve forming a series of circles that become gradually larger or smaller is one kind of spiral.

What was the first spiral galaxy discovered?

Rosse's telescope Leviathan was the first to reveal the spiral structure of M51, a Galaxy nicknamed later as the 'Whirlpool Galaxy', and his drawings of it (see figure 1.2) closely resemble modern photographs.


What kind of galaxy do we live in?

We live in one of the arms of a large spiral galaxy called the Milky Way. The Sun and its planets (including Earth) lie in this quiet part of the galaxy, about half way out from the centre.

Who discovered the first star?

Hipparchus is known for the discovery of the first recorded nova (new star). Many of the constellations and star names in use today derive from Greek astronomy. In spite of the apparent immutability of the heavens, Chinese astronomers were aware that new stars could appear.

How do we know we are in a spiral galaxy?

1) When you look toward the Galactic Center with your eye, you see a long, thin strip. This suggests a disk seen edge-on, rather than a ellipsoid or another shape. We can also detect the bulge at the center. Since we see spiral galaxies which are disks with central bulges, this is a bit of a tipoff.

What is the oldest spiral galaxy?

The most ancient spiral galaxy found so far, called BRI 1335-0417, at an distance of 12.4 billion light-years and at a time just 1.4 billion years after the Big Bang. Spiral arms are visible on both sides of the compact, bright area in the galaxy center.


What is the oldest thing in the universe?

Astronomers have found the farthest known source of radio emissions in the universe: a galaxy-swallowing supermassive black hole.

How old is our Earth?

Earth is estimated to be 4.54 billion years old, plus or minus about 50 million years. Scientists have scoured the Earth searching for the oldest rocks to radiometrically date. In northwestern Canada, they discovered rocks about 4.03 billion years old.

How many galaxies are in space?

While NASA previously determined that there were around two trillion galaxies in the universe, new findings say the number is more likely hundreds of billions. While NASA previously determined that there were around two trillion galaxies in the universe, new findings say the number is more likely hundreds of billions.

What's bigger than the universe?

The universe is much bigger than it looks, according to a study of the latest observations.