radebandi-ye Hubble (#)
Fr.: classification de Hubble
The classification of galaxies according to their visual appearance into four basic types suggested by E. Hubble: → ellipticals (E), → spirals (S), → barred spirals (SB), and → irregulars (Ir). Later on a separate class of → lenticulars (S0) was appended as an intermediate type between ellipticals and spirals. The sequence starts with round elliptical galaxies (E0). Flatter galaxies are arranged following a number which is calculated from the ratio (a - b)/a, where a and b are the major and minor axes as measured on the sky. Ellipticals are divided into eight categories (E0, E1, ..., E7). Beyond E7 a clear disk is apparent in the lenticular (S0) galaxies. The sequence then splits into two parallel branches of disk galaxies showing spiral structure: ordinary spirals, S, and barred spirals, SB. The spiral and barred types are subdivided into Sa, Sb, Sc, and SBa, SBb, SBc, respectively. Along the sequence from Sa to Sc, the central bulge becomes smaller, while the spiral arms become more and more paramount. The original, erroneous idea that such arrangement of the galaxies might represent an evolutionary sequence led to the ellipticals being referred to as early-type galaxies, and the spirals and Irr I irregulars as late-type galaxies. See also → dwarf galaxy, → dwarf elliptical galaxy, → dwarf spheroidal galaxy.