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 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 And the object's current shape won't last; in a few hundred million years, the cores of the two original galaxies will merge, and NGC 3256 will become a large elliptical galaxy. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Galaxy Distorted by Long-Ago Collision Glows in Gorgeous Hubble Photo," 1 June 2018 Taken together, these observations revealed a blazar – a giant elliptical galaxy with a spinning supermassive black hole at its core. Author: Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "In a cosmic first, scientists detect ‘ghost particles’ from a distant galaxy," 12 July 2018 Taken together, these observations revealed a blazar - a giant elliptical galaxy with a spinning supermassive black hole at its core. Sarah Kaplan, chicagotribune.com, "In a cosmic first, scientists detect 'ghost particles' from a distant galaxy," 12 July 2018 For example, astrophysicists believed that when two delicate disk galaxies like our Milky Way collide and merge, the process would wad them up into a single blobby elliptical galaxy. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Galaxy simulations are at last matching reality—and producing surprising insights into cosmic evolution," 30 May 2018 Thirteen million light years away, a handful of relatively small galaxies revolve in a disk around the larger elliptical galaxy Centaurus A. There's nothing unusual about a collection of small galaxies orbiting a large one. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "New observations of galaxies challenge the standard cosmological model," 1 Feb. 2018

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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Cite this Entry

“Elliptical galaxy.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elliptical%20galaxy. Accessed 23 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on elliptical galaxy

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elliptical galaxy

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