Galaxies can range in size from dwarfs containing as little as ten million stars to enormous gigantic galaxies containing a hundred trillion stars.
Each star orbits the galaxy’s own mass center, and it is believed that there are over 170 billion galaxies in the universe that can be observed. Let’s dive in to explore many more galaxy facts for kids!
Galaxy Facts for Kids 1-7
1. A “starburst” galaxy is one with an extremely high concentration of gas and dust, resulting in a rapid rate of star formation.
2. A blazar is a compact, active galaxy containing a supermassive black hole.
3. A galactic cluster is a structure generated by the gravitational connection of many galaxies.
4. A lenticular galaxy features a central luminous bulge and a disk-like structure surrounding it.
5. A spiral galaxy is a spinning, flat disc containing stars, planets, dust, and gases. Continuing star formation gives them their name in the spiral formations stretching from the galactic disc.
6. In photographs, elliptical galaxies look like ellipses because their light distribution is uniform and devoid of structure.
7. An elliptical galaxy has a light profile in the shape of an ellipse.
Galaxy Facts for Kids 8-14
8. An irregular galaxy lacks a defined shape and is typically tiny and disorderly.
9. GN-z11 is the most remote and primitive galaxy as of 2021. Astronomers were able to peer into the distant past with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope when this brilliant galaxy was observed 13.4 billion years ago.
10. According to astronomers, each galaxy’s core includes at least one huge black hole.
A galaxy is held together by the strong gravitational pull of a black hole.
11. Astronomers estimate that there are approximately 100 billion galaxies in the cosmos that can be observed.
12. Every galaxy does include dust. Produced by stars, the dust makes visible light appear redder than it actually is, making it difficult for astronomers to investigate the attributes of stars.
13. Also, this dust can go fairly far. Some galaxies generate galactic winds, which propel dust and gas at hundreds of kilometers per second into the intergalactic medium, which is the space between galaxies.
14. Edwin Hubble established the Hubble sequence, a morphological classification scheme for galaxies, in 1926.
Galaxy Facts for Kids 15-21
15. In the astronomical literature, “Galaxy” is capitalized when referring to our galaxy, the Milky Way.
This is to distinguish it from the countless other galaxies in the universe.
16. Most galaxies have a diameter between 1,000 and 10,000 parsecs. A parsec is a unit of length used in astronomy.
One parsec is equivalent to approximately 31 trillion kilometers or 19 trillion miles.
17. Astronomers have determined that the mass of the black hole at the center of the majority of galaxies is approximately 1/1000th that of the host galaxy.
18. The core of most galaxies consists of a cluster of stars, while the biggest galaxies contain a black hole instead.
19. The majority of galaxies in the cosmos are dwarf galaxies. Compared to other galaxies, these are quite small, around one hundredth the size of the Milky Way, and contain a few billion stars.
20. Planets are produced from fragments of rock and ice that move through the cosmos until they are captured by the gravitational attraction of a sun.
21. Prior to 2021, the most remote and primitive galaxy ever discovered was the z8 GND 5296, which is around 13.1 billion light years away.
A group of astronomers led by Steven Finkelstein from the University of Texas at Austin identified it in October 2013.
Galaxy Facts for Kids 22-28
22. Scientists believe that the Milky Way galaxy alone contains billions of solar systems.
23. In around seven billion years, scientists believe that the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies will merge to produce a supergalaxy that will be the greatest galaxy in this region of the universe.
24. Tens of thousands of galaxies have been cataloged. Still, only a handful have received well-known names, such as the Milky Way, Andromeda galaxy, the Magellanic clouds, the Sombrero Galaxy, and the Whirlpool Galaxy.
25. The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy that will eventually collide with our Milky Way Galaxy and unite with it.
26. The Black Eye Galaxy, commonly known as the Evil Eye Galaxy, is a spiral galaxy.
It derives its name from the dark band of dust-absorbent material that surrounds its light center.
27. The phrase “Okay Google” was selected as a tribute to a famous line from the best-selling novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
28. The Milky Way Galaxy is a spiral galaxy, and it is our solar system’s home.
Galaxy Facts for Kids 29-35
29. These expanded in size as our galaxy collided with other galaxies, thereby attracting some of their stuff.
30. The Sombrero Galaxy is a lenticular galaxy that derives its name from the resemblance of its dark dust lane and bulge to a sombrero hat.
31. Elliptical galaxies, spiral galaxies, and lenticular galaxies are the three classes in the Hubble sequence.
32. The Whirlpool Galaxy is a spiral galaxy that resembles a whirlpool as if water were draining down a drain.
33. The word galaxy comes from the Greek word galaxias, which literally translates to “milky.” This is a reference to our solar system’s home galaxy, the Milky Way.
34. The observable cosmos has about 170 billion galaxies, but there is also a “future visibility limit.”
Objects beyond this boundary will never, at any point in the endless future, reach our observable world.
The reason for this is that any light emitted by an object beyond the limit would never reach us.
35. The Small Magellanic Cloud and the Large Magellanic Cloud, two of the nearest galaxies to the Milky Way, may not contain black holes.
Or, as both galaxies have modest masses, their central black holes may be too tiny to detect.