spiral galaxy

noun

Definition of spiral galaxy 

: a galaxy exhibiting a central nucleus or barred structure from which extend curved arms of higher luminosity

called also spiral nebula

Examples of spiral galaxy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In at least half a dozen protoplanetary disks, something seems be winding gas and dust into seashell whorls like the arms of spiral galaxies. Joshua Sokol, WIRED, "These Spinning Disks of Gas and Dust Reveal How Planets Get Made," 28 May 2018 About halfway between Icarus’s spiral galaxy and our own was a third object, a massive cluster of galaxies that acted as the lens of the magnifying glass. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "This star is the farthest ever seen. It’s 9 billion light-years away.," 4 Apr. 2018 The massive blue star, located in a remote spiral galaxy, has the catchy official name of MACS J1149+2223 Lensed Star-1. Mercedes Leguizamon And Brandon Griggs, CNN, "The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the farthest individual star ever seen," 3 Apr. 2018 The Whale Galaxy, on the other hand, is a more typical spiral galaxy with arms of stars that spiral out from a central point, often resembling a whirlpool. National Geographic, "The Giant Squid Nebula and More Animals of the Cosmos," 20 Mar. 2018 At about two million light-years apart, the Milky Way and Andromeda are two giant spiral galaxies. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Andromeda galaxy not bigger than Milky Way after all," 15 Feb. 2018 So researchers at the Auriga Project created a massive simulation, depicting the formation of a Milky Way-sized spiral galaxy. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Supercomputers Create Breathtaking Simulations of Spiral Galaxies," 26 May 2017 In 2009, a combination of optical and radio telescope observations produced this image of a spiral galaxy and an elliptical galaxy gradually becoming one, 13 million light years from Earth. TIME.com, "The human species is ever-changing and with it our view of the universe.," 25 Oct. 2017 Through measurements and observations scientists have discerned that the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy and that our solar system is embraced by two major arms that extend from the galaxy's center. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "Scientists Peek Across the Galaxy to the “Dark Side” of the Milky Way," 14 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spiral 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 spiral galaxy

1913, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of spiral galaxy was in 1913

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spiral galaxy

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