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  • An elliptical galaxy is a type of galaxy having an approximately ellipsoidal shape and a smooth, nearly featureless brightness profile. Unlike flat spiral galaxies with organization and structure, they are more three-dimensional, without much structure, and their stars are in somewhat random orbits around the center. They are one of the three main classes of galaxy originally described by Edwin Hubble in his 1936 work The Realm of the Nebulae, along with spiral and lenticular galaxies. They range in shape from nearly spherical to highly flat and in size from tens of millions to over one trillion stars. Originally, Edwin Hubble thought that elliptical galaxies may evolve into spiral galaxies, which later turned out to be false. Stars found inside of elliptical galaxies are very much older than stars found in spiral galaxies. Most elliptical galaxies are composed of older, low-mass stars, with a sparse interstellar medium and minimal star formation activity, and they tend to be surrounded by large numbers of globular clusters.

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