Guided Exploration: Galaxy Zone

Part of Hall of the Universe.



Overview: Galaxies contain dark matter, gas, dust, and billions of stars, held together by gravity. This matter orbits a common center of mass, and that orbital motion prevents the galaxy from collapsing under gravity’s pull. The shape of a galaxy (spiral, elliptical, or irregular) depends on how it formed. This zone explores galactic formation and evolution, and what happens when galaxies collide.

1. Galaxy Wall

Examine the photos and animations to compare and contrast the different types of galaxies. What do the three main types have in common? How are they different?

2. Interacting Galaxy Cluster

Watch the video in the center to see how gravity causes galaxies to merge and collide. What happens when they collide?