Galaxies are vast assemblages of stars. And like the stars that comprise them they come in a bewildering variety of sizes, shapes and colours. Some, the dwarf galaxies, may harbour a mere one million member stars. But at the other end of the scale, the giant rugby-ball-shaped elliptical galaxies have a million stars for every star in a dwarf galaxy. Some galaxies, such as the spirals, are alive with star formation, rich in the nebulae that give way to stars. But others have used up all their gas and can make no more stars. They contain only geriatric stars, red and inflated with age.

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