DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spiral galaxy. Artwork of a spiral galaxy surrounded by globular clusters (orange spheres) of stars orbiting it; also seen is a diffuse spherical halo around the galaxy. A spiral galaxy is a flattened, disc-shaped stellar system that rotates in a nearly circular fashion. These galaxies contain not only some old stars but also large populations of young stars, much gas and dust, and molecular clouds that are the birthplace of stars. The majority of galaxies are thought to be spiral, including our own, the Milky Way. Globular clusters are compact groups of old stars which have huge, eccentric elliptical orbits. They are distributed throughout the halo.
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