What is a barred spiral galaxy

Barred spiral galaxy

A barred spiral galaxy is a spiral galaxy with a central bar-shaped structure composed of stars. Bars are found in approximately two-thirds of all spiral galaxies. Bars generally affect both the motions of stars and interstellar gas within spiral galaxies and can affect spiral arms as well. Edwin Hubble classified spiral galaxies of this type as "SB" in his Hubble sequence, and arranged them into three sub-categories based on how open the arms of the spiral are. SBa types feature tightly bound arms, while SBc types are at the other extreme and have loosely bound arms. SBb-type galaxies lie in between. A fourth type, SBm, was subsequently created to describe somewhat irregular barred spirals, such as the Magellanic Cloud galaxies, which were once classified as irregular galaxies, but have since been found to contain barred spiral structures. Among other types in Hubble's classifications for the galaxies are: spiral galaxy, elliptical galaxy and irregular galaxy. In 2005, observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope backed up previously collected evidence that suggested the Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy. Observations by radio telescopes had for years suggested the Milky Way is barred, but Spitzer's vision in the infrared region of the spectrum has provided a more definite calculation.