Astrophysics (index)

Galaxy Classification

(Hubble sequence)
(morphological classification of galaxies)

The commonly-used Galaxy Classification indicates a Galaxy's morphology, i.e., shape. Edwin Hubble developed the basic classification still used, known as the Hubble Sequence:

  • Elliptical Galaxy: E0 through E7.
  • Spiral Galaxy or Disk Galaxy - SA or SB (for Barred) followed by a,b,c,d re how tight are the arms.
  • Lenticular - bright central Bulge in disk but no visible spiral.
  • Irregular (or later described as Amorphous).

More recent developments, generally indicated by a suffix or prefix, add more detail, often distinguishing galaxies formerly classified as "irregular". For example, the classification "SBm" is based upon the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC)'s form, which does have characteristics associated with the classic barred spiral. In the less-developed system, the LMC falls under "irregular".


Referenced by:
Elliptical Galaxy
Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC)
NGC 1600
Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC)
Spiral Galaxy
3C 273
3C 295
3C 48
Ursa Major II Dwarf