elliptical galaxy


Definition of elliptical galaxy

: a galaxy that has a generally elliptical shape and that has no apparent internal structure or spiral arms

called also elliptical

— compare spiral galaxy

Examples of elliptical galaxy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But this particular cosmic jaunt concerned something special—even disturbing: an abnormally hefty elliptical galaxy dubbed C1-23152. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, "Giant Galaxies from the Universe’s Childhood Challenge Cosmic Origin Stories," 27 Jan. 2021 Just last year, astronomers published the first-ever picture of a black hole and its event horizon, a 7-billion-solar-mass beast at the center of the M87 elliptical galaxy. Chris Impey, The Conversation, "The scariest things in the universe are black holes – and here are 3 reasons," 30 Oct. 2020 The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy, but the researchers believed this one became an elliptical galaxy. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Astronomers find galaxy similar to Milky Way more than 12 billion light-years away," 12 Aug. 2020 This old, elliptical galaxy is about 800 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Telescopium, and its jets are shaped like two boomerangs placed back to back to form an X. Why? Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "A Black Hole’s Boomerangs," 14 May 2020 These tend to be older, massive elliptical galaxies or those that are rapidly forming stars. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Closest-ever fast radio burst makes some ideas on their origin less likely," 7 Jan. 2020 The unique signature of a blazar is a giant elliptical galaxy with two jets emitting light and particles, moving close to the speed of light along the axis of the black hole's rotation. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "What created this 'ghost particle' from space found on Earth?," 2 Oct. 2019 More than 50 million light-years away, in the heart of a giant elliptical galaxy called Messier 87, a gargantuan beast is devouring anything that strays too near. National Geographic, "First-ever picture of a black hole unveiled," 10 Apr. 2019 Few new stars are known to form in elliptical galaxies. National Geographic, "https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/universe/galaxies.html," 17 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elliptical galaxy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of elliptical galaxy

1948, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of elliptical galaxy was in 1948

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Last Updated

10 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elliptical galaxy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elliptical%20galaxy. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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