In "Physics of Nearby Galaxies: Nature or Nurture?", 1992 T. X. Thuan, C. Balkowski, and J. T. Thanh Van, eds., Editions Frontieres, Gif-Sur-Yvette, p. 3

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THE MORPHOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION OF GALAXIES

Ronald Buta


University of Alabama
Box 870324, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487


ABSTRACT. Much of what is known about galaxies began with a simple classification of their forms as seen on direct blue-light plates. This classification continues to be useful at a time when galaxies have never been better understood. The reason for this is that morphology contains information on the dynamics and evolution of galaxies in spite of the fact that the features dominating the appearance may include only a small fraction of the total mass. In this article I briefly review the important classification systems in use today and highlight classification as an art having significant discriminating ability and at the same time serious limitations. I also summarize recent developments in this field from a morphologist's point of view.


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

REVIEW OF CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS

CLASSIFICATION AS AN ART

TYPE CORRELATIONS

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN CLASSIFICATION AND MORPHOLOGY

CONCLUSIONS

REFERENCES

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