Optics-based research lets astronomers classify galaxies by properties

Australian scientists have taken a critical step towards understanding why different types of galaxies exist throughout the Universe. The research, made possible by cutting-edge instrumentation, means that astronomers can now classify galaxies according to their physical properties rather than human interpretation of a galaxy’s appearance.

Dr Luca Cortese, from The University of Western Australia node of theInternational Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), said the world’s premier astronomical facilities are now producing surveys consisting of hundreds of thousands of galaxies rather than the dozens that Hubble and his contemporaries were working with. We need a way to classify galaxies consistently using instruments that measure physical properties rather than a time consuming and subjective technique involving human interpretation.”

Read the rest of the article at http://optics.org/news/7/9/18/Stephans-QuintetHubM

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