An irregular galaxy is a galaxy that does not fall into any of the regular classes of the Hubble sequence. These are galaxies that feature neither spiral nor elliptical morphology. They are often chaotic in appearance, with neither a nuclear bulge nor any trace of spiral arm structure. Collectively they are thought to make up about a quarter of all galaxies. Most irregular galaxies were once spiral or elliptical galaxies but were deformed by gravitational action. irregular galaxies also contain abundant amounts of gas and dust
There are two major Hubble types of irregular galaxies:
A third classification of irregular galaxies are the dwarf irregulars, labelled as dI or dIrrs. This type of galaxy is now thought to be important to understand the overall evolution of galaxies, as they tend to have a low level of metallicity and relatively high levels of gas, and are thought to be similar to the earliest galaxies that populated the Universe. They may represent a local (and therefore more recent) version of the faint blue galaxies known to exist in deep field galaxy surveys.
Some of the irregular galaxies are small spiral galaxies that are being distorted by the gravity of a larger neighbor.
The Magellanic Cloud galaxies were once classified as irregular galaxies, but have since been found to contain barred spiral structures, and have been since re-classified as "SBm", a fourth type of barred spiral galaxy.