Image galaxy

Irregular galaxies

The Galaxy M82 is represented in the figure; its shape is neither elliptical nor spiral. It looks more like a cigar than anything else.

It is an irregular galaxy, because unlike the others, it does not have either a regular structure or a recognisable symmetry. Irregular galaxies have the strangest and most dissimilar shapes, the one shown is only one of many possibilities.

Irregular galaxies make up just 1% of all the galaxies, they are rich in gas, dust and young stars. Star formation is in fact very intense in this kind of galaxy and it takes place at a higher rate than in the spiral galaxies.

It’s curious to note that the Milky Way possesses two galaxy satellites, which orbit around it. They are classified as irregular and are known as the Great and Little Magellan Clouds. They are 200 thousand light years away, which is about 60000 billion years of walking non-stop.

Next page      Back