When two galaxies collide, they go through a complex series of shape changes and gyrations. Sometimes the smaller galaxy gets disassembled and for a while orbits the larger one in the form of a ring of stars. Then in a few more billion years it is re-assembled as one galaxy again, though in another form and sometimes with two black hole centers. This has happened in our universe often, and astronomers can see it happening, though the whole process takes eons. Astronomers can wait. In their minds they can live for billions of years, monitors of the universe, despite living only for an illusory few decades here on this little planet.
"Galaxy Merge" is acrylic on illustration board, 10" x 7", June 1991.