Galaxy Fundamentals

What is a cD galaxy?

Central dominant, or “cD,” galaxies are giant elliptical galaxies that appear at the centers of rich clusters of galaxies. Astronomers think they are formed when many small galaxies collide with one another, combining to form a huge single galaxy. The cD galaxies in the center of the Virgo cluster are each many times the mass of the Milky Way and contain perhaps a trillion stars each.


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