JOHN FOSTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN FOSTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Spiral galaxy. Artist's illustration of a spiral galaxy seen with an Earth-like planet and a moon. The spiral galaxy is seen obliquely (at centre), the spiral pattern of its arms radiating outwards. A cratered moon is visible at top right; at lower left is an Earth-like planet; at upper left is a globular star cluster. Spiral galaxies are flat- tened, disc-shaped stellar systems which rotate in a nearly circular fashion. Arms curve out from the rotating centre. These galaxies contain some old stars, large populations of young stars, much gas and dust, and molecular clouds that are the birth- place of stars. Our Milky Way is a spiral galaxy.
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