MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artwork of a lenticular galaxy. This type of galaxy is intermediate between an elliptical galaxy and a spiral galaxy. Like spirals, lenticular galaxies are disc-shaped, but unlike spirals they have used up or lost most of their interstellar matter, so therefore have few sites within them were new stars are being born. As a result, lenticular galaxies are populated primarily by aging stars, a characteristic they share with elliptical galaxies. Although being disc shaped, lenticular galaxies have ill-defined or absent spiral arms, so when seen face-on it is very hard to distinguish them from elliptical galaxies. A few globular clusters, which orbit the larger lenticular galaxy, are seen in the foreground.
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