Although current astronomical techniques have revealed the presence of billions of entire galaxies, stretching to theof the known universe, a strict definition of what a galaxy actually is has not been generally agreed.
What exactly is a galaxy? Surprising as it may sound, astronomers don't have an answer to this fundamental question. There's no agreement on when a collection of stars stops being a cluster and starts being something more.
You might think a galaxy is simply a large group of stars, but just how many stars does it take? Astronomers tend to call five or so stars a 'group' and a hundred or more a 'cluster'. At some point, a cluster becomes a galaxyâ€”the Oxford English Dictionary suggests 'millions or billions' of stars is enoughâ€”but there has never been an official threshold.â€ś
Source : Science Magazine, 2011
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