Galactic Cannibalism

This supercomputer simulation shows six galaxies merging to form a single giant galaxy. Toward the end of the simulation a large galaxy forms that "devours" other, smaller galaxies, a process called galactic cannibalism. (In ordinary galactic mergers, galaxies of about the same size are involved.) Galactic cannibalism may explain how giant elliptical galaxies form near the centers of rich clusters of galaxies, where galactic collisions are frequent.