Do galaxies change shape, and if so, why?

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  • It can happen only when they get married and divorced.

  • Mike
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    When 2 galaxies merge, they are deformed due to gravity.

  • 4 months ago

    Yes, they can. They usually change shape when they are the product of mergers/collisions. For example, two mergers may collide and form an elliptical galaxy.

  • 4 months ago

    Are we talking about the whole galaxies of the universe that being filled in the 88 Constellations of the universe , it is beyond our imagination. 

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  • 4 months ago

    There are many thousands of nearby galaxies, who's structure is visible in the largest telescopes. The structure of these galaxies tends to follow a continuum from the elliptical galaxies which always appear as nothing more than a fuzzy round glow, the nearest of which may have their largest stars resolved, all the way to highly structured galaxies showing spiral arms and rings. It is thought that this continuum represents an evolution of the shape of galaxies as they age over many billions of years.

    Galaxies also experience a more violent and varied change of shape when they encounter each other, which they often do. See the following link for the results of some of the encounters between galaxies:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interacting_galaxy

  • 4 months ago

    Usually centrifugal force versus Galactic Gravity

    The Galactic Waltz

  • 4 months ago

    Left to their own, they wouldn't change *very much*... a Spiral galaxy may combine some of the spiral arms, or the hub may grow or shrink over time... Mostly, galaxies distort when they come close to other galaxies.  The mutual gravitational influence will pull and stretch the galaxies, disrupting the normal trajectory of their stars.  We see 'galactic collisions' in many different places, with many different results.  The Andromeda Galaxy will collide with the Milky Way at just about the time our Sun begins to die; at the end of that interaction, the two will likely merge into one, larger galaxy. 

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