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I am working on a project that requires some amount of number crunching. I require some basic data about the galaxy M82 and our own Milky Way (particularly luminosities). My advisor is a nut and he blurts out numbers from his head that seem to be right. All the more, I would like to be sure. So is there any place where I can find reliable data? (Google isn't helping much here and I also tried Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I am working on gas outflows from galaxies. I am focusing on galaxies which have luminosities beyond their Eddington limit. Thus to compare some calculated results, it would be useful to have the bolometric luminosities of M82 and Milky Way. Hope this clarifies.

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Your advisor might be a nut, but it probably isn't a healthy practice to mention that in public fora. Even if your identity is anonymous. Also you will have to be more details about what kind of data you are looking for or what your project is about. That might help narrow it down. – user346 Dec 25 '10 at 9:17
Several people have repeatedly pointed out that this site doesn't exist to just point people to the right link on Google (or arXiv) - we want to collect questions that can be answered with explanations, not just references. If someone asked "What's the Curie temperature of cobalt?" I think we would close it. This seems like that sort of question. Also, it kind of strikes me as an astronomy question - bolometric luminosities aren't exactly something that falls under what I'd usually consider physics. – David Z Dec 26 '10 at 8:30
@david you are adopting a very narrow view of physics here. The evidence - such as it is - of an accelerating universe comes from observations of the Hubble rate (among other indicators). The Hubble rate is only as accurate as our ability to estimate the distance of an object from us. And this distance depends, almost entirely, on something known as the Luminosity-Redshift relationship. In other words, no astronomy -> no luminosity data -> no understanding of cosmological behavior. – user346 Dec 26 '10 at 9:10
You might try Wolfram Alpha. – sigoldberg1 Dec 26 '10 at 16:47
@space_cadet: all that argument really shows is that physics relies on astronomical data; it doesn't necessarily mean that questions about astronomical data should be on-topic for this site. You could use the same argument to say that chemistry questions or engineering questions should be welcome here. Still, astronomy is reasonably close to physics and if that were the only reason I could come up with for closing the question, I probably would have left it open. My main reason was that, as far as I can tell, there's no meaningful answer we can give other than a link to a source. – David Z Dec 26 '10 at 21:29
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Google - Bolometric luminosity of M82


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