National Science Digital Library

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Spin a Spiral Galaxy

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Education, Chemistry, Geoscience, Physics, Space Science
PBS LearningMedia, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development, Teachers' Domain, DLESE Community Collection
Middle School, High School, Career / Technical
Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12
Material Type:
Activities and Labs, Data, Images and Illustrations, Instructional Material, Interactive, Reference
Media Format:
Text/HTML, Video
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Abstract:

Of the 100 billion or more galaxies visible through existing telescopes, most are either spiral or elliptical in shape and about one-fourth are irregular in shape. In addition to their shape, star systems can be further classified using other characteristics, such as the type of material they contain or the angle from which they're viewed. This interactive feature invites users to examine galaxy M83 and our own Milky Way galaxy in virtual reality, rotating and tilting the images to see the shape and distribution of stars in the galaxies. The annotated visible light photographs and composites offer opportunities to learn about a galaxy's scale, composition, and rotational pattern.