Bautz–Morgan classification

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The Bautz–Morgan classification was developed in 1970 by Laura P. Bautz and William Wilson Morgan to categorize galaxy clusters based on their morphology.[1] It defines three main types: I, II, and III. Intermediate types (I-II, II-III) are also allowed. A type IV was initially proposed, but later redacted before the final paper was published.[2]


  • A type I cluster is dominated by a bright, large, supermassive cD galaxy; for example Abell 2029 and Abell 2199.
  • A type II cluster contains elliptical galaxies whose brightness relative to the cluster is intermediate to that of type I and type III. The Coma Cluster is an example of a type II.
  • A type III cluster has no remarkable members, such as the Virgo Cluster. Type-III has two subdivisions, type IIIE and type IIIS
    • Type IIIE clusters do not contain many giant spirals
    • Type IIIS clusters contain many giant spirals
  • The deprecated type IV was for clusters whose brightest members were predominantly spirals.[2]


Example Type Notes
Monster Galaxies Lose Their Appetite With Age 03.jpg Abell 2199 Type I
Abell S740.jpg Abell S740 Type I-II
Coma Cluster of Galaxies (visible, wide field).jpg Coma Cluster Type II
New Hubble view of galaxy cluster Abell 1689.jpg Abell 1689 Type II-III
ESO-M87.jpg Virgo Cluster Type III

See also


  1. Bautz, L. P.; Morgan, W. W. (December 1970). "On the Classification of the Forms of Clusters of Galaxies" (PDF). Astrophysical Journal 162: L149. doi:10.1086/180643. A&AA ID. AAA004.160.015. Bibcode1970ApJ...162L.149B. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bautz, Laura P.; Morgan, W. W. (September 1970). "Preliminary Classification of Clusters of Galaxies" (PDF). Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society 2: 294. A&AA ID. AAA004.160.006. Bibcode1970BAAS....2R.294B. Retrieved March 10, 2012.