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Galaxies are classified by shape. The three types are spiral, elliptical, and irregular. Spiral galaxies consist of a central mass with one, two, or three arms that spiral around the center. An elliptical galaxy is oval, with a bright center that gradually, evenly dims to the edges. Irregular galaxies are not symmetrical and do not look like spiral or elliptical galaxies. Irregular galaxies vary widely in appearance. A galaxy that has a regular spiral or elliptical shape but has some special oddity is known as a peculiar galaxy. For example, some peculiar galaxies are stretched and distorted from the gravitational pull of a nearby galaxy.

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