Are These Reduced Theyre All Marked Irregular

Finally comes the miscellaneous category of irregular galaxies, which lack any regular structure. Galaxies in this class often look as if they are coming apart at the seams or are just plain messy. Unlike the ellipticals, irregulars are rich in interstellar material and sites of active star formation.

Two of the most famous irregular galaxies are very close: the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Usually called the LMC and the SMC by acronym-happy astronomers, they are visible from the southern hemisphere. These Milky Way companions

Star Words

Irregular galaxies lack obvious structure, but have lots of raw materials for the creation of new stars.

Star Words

Irregular galaxies lack obvious structure, but have lots of raw materials for the creation of new stars.

(10 times closer to us than the closest spiral galaxy) interact with each other and our Galaxy via gravity, and both contain active star formation regions. The Small Magellanic Cloud is stretched into an elongated shape due to the tidal forces exerted on it by our Galaxy.

This radio image of the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds (SMC and LMC) was made with CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope. Think of it as a photographic negative: The dark areas are the brightest in the radio, and the light areas have no radio emission.

(Image from CSIRO)

Spiral density waves are waves of compression that move around the disk of a spiral galaxy. These waves are thought to trigger clouds of gas into collapse, thus forming hot, young stars. It is mostly the ionized gas around these young, massive stars that we observe as spiral arms. Near encounters of galaxaies are thought to trigger these waves.

Star Words

Spiral density waves are waves of compression that move around the disk of a spiral galaxy. These waves are thought to trigger clouds of gas into collapse, thus forming hot, young stars. It is mostly the ionized gas around these young, massive stars that we observe as spiral arms. Near encounters of galaxaies are thought to trigger these waves.

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