Why is the Milky Way a bared galaxy?

In summary, the Milky Way is a barred galaxy because it has a bar of stars in its center, which is formed from close encounters with other galaxies and helps funnel gas into the central bulge. This is a common characteristic of many spiral and barred galaxies, and is believed to be a result of mergers and age. The formation and evolution of bars is still an area of active research in astronomy.
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  • #4
One thing I do know for sure is that it is expected that after colliding with Andromeda it will become an elliptical galaxy. I think the same is true, or at least believed to be true for most if not all spiral or spiral barred galaxies after enough collisions with similar sized/mass galaxies.

This leads me to believe that it has to do with the age of a galaxy, or more precisely how many merges it has had in it's life time. I am not certain of this part but it is my educated guess based upon this that most if not all galaxies start off as spiral galaxies and ours is just younger in that regard. I wouldn't post a response with a guess normally but I did give factual information as well, and am just giving my guess to continue the chain of logic. I'm going to research that now though. As for the barred aspect, I haven't a clue.
 
  • #5
Barred galaxy = merger of 2 galaxies?
 
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  • #6
Imax said:
Barred galaxy = merger of 2 galaxies?

Excerpt:


The bars are mostly stars (usually), unlike spiral arms (which have lots of gas and dust besides stars). The formation and evolution of bars is an active area of research in astronomy today; they seem to form from close encounters of the galaxy kind (galaxy near-collisions), funnel gas into the central bulge (where the super-massive black holes there snack on it), and are sustained by the same density waves which keep the arms alive.
http://www.universetoday.com/40300/barred-spiral-galaxy/
 

1. What is a bared galaxy?

A bared galaxy is a type of galaxy that has a distinct bar-shaped structure in its center. This structure is made up of stars and can extend outwards from the center of the galaxy. The Milky Way is classified as a bared galaxy.

2. How did the Milky Way become a bared galaxy?

The exact formation process of the Milky Way's bar structure is still not fully understood. However, it is believed that interactions with other galaxies and the gravitational pull of nearby objects played a role in shaping the Milky Way's bar.

3. What is the purpose of the Milky Way's bar?

The bar in the Milky Way serves as a way to funnel gas and dust towards the center of the galaxy, allowing for the formation of new stars. It also helps to maintain the spiral arms of the galaxy and stabilize its rotation.

4. Are all spiral galaxies bared galaxies?

No, not all spiral galaxies have a distinct bar structure. It is estimated that only about one third of spiral galaxies are bared galaxies, with the remaining two thirds having a more traditional spiral shape without a bar.

5. Will the Milky Way always be a bared galaxy?

The Milky Way's bar is constantly changing and evolving due to interactions with other galaxies and the overall evolution of the galaxy. It is possible that in the future, the Milky Way may lose its bar structure or even develop a new one. However, it is difficult to predict the future evolution of the Milky Way with certainty.

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