Skywatch

  • December 23, 2010

    Episode 311: Elliptical Galaxies Have Hidden Depths

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    Shownotes

    Elliptical galaxies are traditionally thought of as old objects where most star formation happened long ago and then evened out. They appear smooth and more or less featureless. However, Hubble observations reveal that elliptical galaxies may not be so undisturbed. These objects, judging by a galaxy called NGC 4150, may actually cannibalize smaller galaxies. In doing so, they become the sites of localized star formation, though less than in spiral galaxies.