The Milky Way Galaxy
Q & A with Astronomer Julianne Dalcanton
Julianne Dalcanton

Q. Are all galaxies like the Milky Way?

A. No. Galaxies come in lots of different sizes. Smaller ones have millions of stars, while bigger ones contain billions. Galaxies also have different shapes. Some are spiral galaxies, like the Milky Way. Some are egg-shaped elliptical galaxies, and the rest are called irregular galaxies.

Spiral Galaxy Elliptical Galaxy Irregular Galaxy


Q. Sombrero GalaxyWhat’s your favorite galaxy, and why?

A. I’m fond of the “Sombrero Galaxy” because it shows how “3-D” galaxies are. Most galaxies look like flat paintings in the sky, but with the Sombrero, you really get the impression that it’s this big THING sitting out there in space!

Q. Is it fun being an astronomer?

A. Definitely. I often travel to interesting places like Hawaii and Chile. That’s because the best telescopes in the world are located on high mountains in remote places, where it’s dry and dark at night. When I need to study stars all night, I sometimes have to blast music to stay awake.