Our love of spirals
Just in case you were wondering why we are called “Spiral” – well, call it nerdy, but we are completely fascinated by all things spiral. And there are a lot of them: from fossils deep underground to star systems unbelievably far above us.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Perfectly pleasing to our eye
A Golden Rectangle is a rectangle in which the ratio of the length to the width is the Golden Ratio. For example, if one side of a Golden Rectangle is 2 metres long, the other side will be approximately equal to 2 * (1.62) = 3.24. It is the most pleasing of all rectangles.
If you have a Golden Rectangle and you cut a square off it so that what remains is a rectangle, that remaining rectangle will also be a Golden Rectangle. You can keep cutting these squares off and getting smaller and smaller Golden Rectangles. Drawing a line through the points, as shown, will give you a spiral very like that found in a nautilus shell.
The Golden Ratio
The golden ratio is a special number approximately equal to 1.6180339887498948482. Like Pi, the digits of the Golden Ratio go on forever without repeating.
Our closest spiral galaxy – Andromeda
Approximately 2.5 million light-years away, Andromeda is the closest spiral galaxy and is the only one visible to the naked eye. The galaxy’s entire disk spans about 260,000 light-years, which means that a light beam would take 260,000 years to travel from one end of the galaxy to the other. By comparison, our Milky Way galaxy’s disk is about 100,000 light-years across.
The galaxy’s central bulge glows in the light emitted by warm dust from old, giant stars. Just outside the bulge, a system of inner spiral arms can be seen, and outside this, a well-known prominent ring of star formation.