(Submitted April 22, 1998)
Do you think you could send me any links to good web-pages that have
information on Lenticular Galaxies or do you know where I can get any good
information on them at?
I am not an expert on galaxy morphology, but here is my understanding.
Lenticular galaxies are best described as 'spiral galaxies without the
spiral'. The spirals highlight the places where bright new stars are
forming, but lenticular galaxies (like ellipticals) have lost the
interstellar gas which forms new stars. Lenticular galaxies are most often
found in dense clusters of galaxies, so the most likely conclusion is that
collisions with other galaxies or intergalactic gas clouds have stripped
the gas out of these galaxies.
Hubble classified the shapes of galaxies in a 'tuning fork' diagram, with
spirals and barred spirals as the tines of the fork, and elliptical
galaxies as the handle. Lenticular galaxies on this classification system
are where the tines meet the handle.
Go to http://www.seds.org/messier/lenticul.html to see some images of lenticular galaxies.
A search engine may turn up over references to lenticular galaxies.
Since lenticular galaxies are not a topic popular on the 'fringe', most of
these pages should be reasonably accurate. As always, consider the source
of the information before deciding how much to trust its validity.
for Ask an Astrophysicist