Do galaxies fission?

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Do galaxies fission?
« on: 20/11/2007 15:26:46 »
I had previously always considered that galaxies must be almost primordial universal creatures, that have existed since a fairly early point in a universe, and once their period of creation had passed, no new ones were born.

Is this correct?

With the discussion of stellar birth and super nova in another thread, it is clear that stars, and hence galaxies (which are collections of stars) cannot be born without some trigger event, some explosive source of energy.  Clearly, unless a galactic sized super nova event were to happen (which would be pretty dramatic), there can be no direct analogy of a super nova event where a dying galaxy might give birth to a cluster of new galaxies.

On the other hand, I was wondering about what might happen when two galaxies collide (or a near collision) - could fragments (small clusters of stars that had formed parts of the colliding galaxies) of that collision not be thrown out into intergalactic space, and could not these become, over time, the nucleus for new galaxies?


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Do galaxies fission?
« Reply #1 on: 20/11/2007 16:42:33 »
Galaxies are still forming and evolving although there is evidence that there were some galaxies around very early on in the universe stars probably came first then globular clusters (which are a bit like small galaxies)  spiral galaxies are probably an intermediate stage and the final stages are giant elliptical galaxies which are formed when many spiral galaxies merge

Galaxies in contrast to stars are quite large compared with their separations and so interact and collide quite frequently.  Collisions may involve violence to gas clouds and trigger the formation of many new stars.  Look up starburst galaxies.  When galaxies collide stars do not collide they just change their orbits a bit.  The collisions are relatively slow events lasting hundreds of millions of years.
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