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The Question

(Submitted January 30, 2002)

I was woundering what the most common type of galaxy is. I have searched different scorces and they all say different things. Some say spiral, some say eliptical.

The Answer

The references I was able to find all agree that elliptical galaxies are the most common, accounting for about 60 percent of all galaxies.

Perhaps what some of the references were referring to the numbers of known galaxies. Since sprial galaxies tend to be brighter than ellipticals, more of them have been named and cataloged. But in a given region of the sky astronomers see more ellipticals, so they infer that ellipticals are more common everywhere.

Cheers,

Hans Krimm for "Ask an Astrophysicist"

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