Lenticular (S0) Galaxies

[M S0] Click icon to see a lenticular galaxy of Messier's catalog

>> Messier's lenticular galaxies; Links

The icon shows M102, the Spindle Galaxy.

The lenticular galaxies are disk galaxies without any conspicuous structure in their disks. This is probably because they have either used up most of their interstellar matter, so that they consist of old stars only, which have found a smooth and even distribution in the disk by the time, or because the galaxy has not closely encountered any neighbor in the past few hundred million (or few billion) years.

From their appearance, and also their stellar contents (e.g., spectral type), they look more like ellipticals rather than spirals, and have often been misclassified due to this fact. Misclassification has e.g. occurred for all 3 or 4 Messier lenticulars.

(Probable) S0 galaxies in Messier's catalog: M84, M85, M86, M102.





Hartmut Frommert
Christine Kronberg

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Last Modification: April 26, 2013