The Messier 82 Starburst Galaxy
All galaxies show some degree of star formation, although the star formation rate differs greatly between different classes of galaxies. Early types, such as ellipticals, clearly show significantly less star formation than late types, such as spirals and irregulars. Much of the current star formation in spiral galaxies is associated with spiral arms, and appears to be due to the interaction of stellar density waves which drive shocks into neutral gas.
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