For Further Exploration: Galaxies


Andrews, B. “What Are Galaxies Trying to Tell Us?” Astronomy (February 2011): 24. Introduction to our understanding of the shapes and evolution of different types of galaxies.

Bothun, G. “Beyond the Hubble Sequence.” Sky & Telescope (May 2000): 36. History and updating of Hubble’s classification scheme.

Christianson, G. “Mastering the Universe.” Astronomy (February 1999): 60. Brief introduction to Hubble’s life and work.

Dalcanton, J. “The Overlooked Galaxies.” Sky & Telescope (April 1998): 28. On low-brightness galaxies, which have been easy to miss.

Freedman, W. “The Expansion Rate and Size of the Universe.” Scientific American (November 1992): 76.

Hodge, P. “The Extragalactic Distance Scale: Agreement at Last?” Sky & Telescope (October 1993): 16.

Jones, B. “The Legacy of Edwin Hubble.” Astronomy (December 1989): 38.

Kaufmann, G. and van den Bosch, F. “The Life Cycle of Galaxies.” Scientific American (June 2002): 46. On galaxy evolution and how it leads to the different types of galaxies.

Martin, P. and Friedli, D. “At the Hearts of Barred Galaxies.” Sky & Telescope (March 1999): 32. On barred spirals.

Osterbrock, D. “Edwin Hubble and the Expanding Universe.” Scientific American (July 1993): 84.

Russell, D. “Island Universes from Wright to Hubble.” Sky & Telescope (January 1999) 56. A history of our discovery of galaxies.

Smith, R. “The Great Debate Revisited.” Sky & Telescope (January 1983): 28. On the Shapley-Curtis debate concerning the extent of the Milky Way and the existence of other galaxies.


ABC’s of Distance: A concise summary by astronomer Ned Wright of all the different methods we use to get distances in astronomy.

Cosmic Times 1929: NASA project explaining Hubble’s work and surrounding discoveries as if you were reading newspaper articles.

Edwin Hubble: The Man Behind the Name: Concise biography from the people at the Hubble Space Telescope.

Edwin Hubble: An article on the life and work of Hubble by his student and successor, Allan Sandage. A bit technical in places, but giving a real picture of the man and the science.

NASA Science: Introduction to Galaxies: A brief overview with links to other pages, and recent Hubble Space Telescope discoveries.

National Optical Astronomy Observatories Gallery of Galaxies: A collection of images and information about galaxies and galaxy groups of different types. Another impressive archive can be found at the European Southern Observatory site.

Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Introduction to Galaxies: Another brief overview.

Universe Expansion: The background material here provides a nice chronology of how we discovered and measured the expansion of the universe.


Edwin Hubble (Hubblecast Episode 89) (5:59).

Hubble’s Views of the Deep Universe: A 2015 public talk by Brandon Lawton of the Space Telescope Science Institute about galaxies and beyond (1:26:20).