Our universe is both massive and fascinating. While we have a pretty elevated view of ourselves as humans, whenever we peer into the cosmos we really see how small we are in compared to the rest of whats out there. The lowest astronomical figures say there are 100 billion galaxies (that’s 100,000,000,000) in the universe, and our Milky Way is only one. Take the Earth – and multiply it times 17 billion. That’s how many Earth-sized worlds exist only in the Milky Way Galaxy. Multiply that times 100 billion galaxies and you have a massive universe, not even counting the stars and non-Earth-sized planets. Here, we focus on some of the most amazing aspects of our universe: galaxies. The masses of stars, planets, debris, dark matter, and more follow some general patterns but sometimes even they break tradition and amaze us, earning them a spot on this list of the strangest and most bizarre galaxies in the universe.
Most of the strange galaxies on this list are known to astronomers by two classifications: the Messier catalog or the New General Catalog. Messier’s catalog was compiled in 1771 by French astronomer Charles Messier as a way to organize the host of cosmic discoveries happening at the time. A particular fan of comets, Messier made the list with his assistant Pierre Méchain to filter out non-comet items. The New General Catalog (NGC) of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars is a collection of various types of deep sky objects compiled by John Louis Emil Dreyer. Numerous revisions have cleaned up the listing, now one of the most comprehensive catalogs to date with 7,840 deep space objects.
From a galaxy which resembles a cosmic sunflower unfolding before our eyes to a hellish-looking mass of gas and matter to violent galactic collisions which seem oh-so-peaceful in still images, here are the 25 Most Bizarre Galaxies in the Universe.
Baby Boom Galaxy
Milky Way Galaxy
I Zwicky 18
M60 & NGC 4647 – The galaxy couple
NGC3314a & NGC3314b