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Classifying Galaxies
This site allows students to examine images of galaxies and learn to recognize the various shapes used in the Hubble classification system. The Hubble Tuning Fork Diagram is presented as a way to classify the various types of galaxies observed in space. Students will examine pictures of galaxies and discover that these pictures have been arranged according to a scheme or plan laid out by Edwin Hubble, which is still in use today. Students practice using the scheme to classify unidentified galaxies, as presented in pictures. At the end of the activity, students will be able to display the knowledge gained during this activity using a worksheet presented by the teacher and demonstrate an understanding of what classification means as it relates to science. They will also be able to examine an unidentified galaxy image and classify it based on the methods that they have learned.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
    • Computer activity
    • Guide for instructor
  • Space science
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 2001 The Regents of the University of California. We encourage individual users, teachers, and students to make classroom-based, not-for-profit use of the materials available through the University of California Berkeley Center for Science Education at Space Sciences Laboratory and its website. All our materials are copyright of the University of California Regents with the exception of data and images from NASA and other sources which may be in the public domain or subject to their own copyright restrictions. You may make a hyperlink to any of our resources for use in a classroom or school-based educational setting. You may make single copies of the available resources, or use excerpts, for classroom use or for research. Multiple copies may be made for classroom use provided that they are not distributed for profit, publication purposes, or commercial advantage, and that the copies bear a UC Regent copyright notice, i.e. Copyright 2001 UC Regents. All rights reserved.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-005-932
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • History of science
        • Nature of science
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: University of California Berkeley Center for Science Education