A starburst galaxy is a galaxy undergoing an exceptionally high rate of star formation, as compared to the long-term average rate of star formation in the galaxy or the star formation rate observed in most other galaxies.What causes starbursts in gas-rich galaxies?
Mergers and tidal interactions between gas-rich galaxies play a large role in driving starbursts. Galaxies in the midst of a starburst frequently show tidal tails, an indication of a close encounter with another galaxy, or are in the midst of a merger.What is the inside of a starburst?
The inside of the starburst is quite an extreme environment. The large amounts of gas mean that very massive stars are formed. Young, hot stars ionize the gas (mainly hydrogen) around them, creating H II regions. Groups of very hot stars are known as OB associations.Can mergers and tidal interactions cause starbursts?
As lopsidedness can be caused by tidal interactions and mergers between galaxies, this result gives further evidence that mergers and tidal interactions can induce central star formation in a galaxy and drive a starburst.