Massive systems held together by gravitational attraction, consisting of stellar associations, star systems, star clusters and types of interstellar clouds, stellar remnants, gasses, cosmic dust and an important but not yet completely understood component called dark matter.

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How can I calculate the stellar mass of a galaxy from its luminosity?

Given the magnitudes of certain galaxies, I would like to calculate their stellar mass (in terms of solar masses). So far, I have calculated their absolute magnitudes and gotten to working out the ...
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3answers
130 views

How Are Galaxies Receding Faster Than Light Visible To Observers?

We know that some galaxies are moving away from us faster than the speed of light and we know it by measuring the redshift, but how's that possible? If they're moving away say at 2c, how would the ...
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1answer
24 views

Does the rate of expansion of the universe exceed the rate at which the local group is being pulled toward the Great Attractor?

I understand that the expansion rate of the universe driven dark energy exceeds the rate at which the local group is being pulled toward The Great Attractor (Hydra-Centaurus Supercluster). Does this ...
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2answers
32 views

Why do we have a galactic and a solar plane [duplicate]

Why do all of the planets in our solar system move is (more or less) the same plane? It would seem that the planets should all have very different orbital planes, each at a different angel to each ...
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0answers
13 views

Velocity dispersion of galaxies

I couldn't find on web how can I get the velocity dispersion and velocity maps of galaxies from the 3D data cube I get from integral field spectrograph.
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1answer
115 views

Why do galaxies “dissappear?”

So, this is a dumb question but a bit of information confused me lately. Before, I figured galaxies were no longer visible by us because their luminosity decreased in an inverse square manner. ...
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1answer
47 views

why galaxies look like discs rather than spheres? [duplicate]

Black holes have much gravitation to hold all stars and nebulas but why they are aligned in disc type shapes rather than spheres because gravitation is everywhere around black holes. Even on upper ...
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1answer
69 views

How are stellar and galactic ages determined?

Being a 4th year undergraduate physicist, you'd think I'd know this! But it's never really taught in any detail, just vague mentions of metallicities and, in galactic case, redshift. So how exactly ...
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1answer
45 views

What becomes of the massive clouds expelled from Quasars?

What becomes of the massive clouds expelled from Quasar jets? Do they simply disperse into intergalactic diffuse clouds? Or do they on occasion have enough gravity to hold together and or collapse? If ...
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2answers
59 views

Expanding universe and the peculiar velocity

Hubble's law states that the universe is expanding with a velocity equals Hubble's constant*distance from earth. But, recent findings show that the Andromeda galaxy is actually blueshifting towards us ...
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3answers
147 views

Faster than light galaxies/clusters?

A few years ago in an astronomy course, we calculated some (transverse?) velocity of a moving object and got super luminal results. The answer was apparent and not physical velocity of the object. ...
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1answer
326 views

Why the galaxies forms 2D plane (or spiral-like) instead of 3D ball (or spherical-like)?

Question: As we know (1) the macroscopic spatial dimension of our universe is 3 dimension, and (2) Gravity attracts massive objects together and the gravitational force is isotropic without ...
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0answers
32 views

Need help on Springel model for galaxy dynamics

I would like to have help about the response of the dark matter profile in the Springel galaxy dynamics model ( from the paper Tidal tails in CDM cosmologies(NB: Arxiv pre-print)) Here's the part of ...
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1answer
44 views

Equation for a galaxy's overall gravitational pull?

Can the Newton's formula be used to express $g$ between two Galaxies in proximity? Gravity on Earth uses two concepts, one is the radius (R) of earth and the other is the distance $h$ from the ...
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2answers
41 views

Sampling a distribution (from a galaxy model)

I am reading the following article: http://www.kof.zcu.cz/st/dis/schwarzmeier/galaxy_models.html and am currently at section 5.6 (positions of bodies in a galaxy). I am trying to redo the simulations ...
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2answers
125 views

How is the observable universe mapped?

As I was looking at how big earth was relative to everything else in the universe, this picture boggles my mind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_Universe#Horizons We're like the size of an ...
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1answer
59 views

What is the space between galactic arms called?

Is there a term referring to space that is inside the plane of a galaxy, but not part of the center/bar/arms/spurs, etc? What's the filler called? The space between two spiral arms (if it isn't a ...
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4answers
739 views

Why the center of our galaxy doesn't absorb us?

Depending on the theories, the center of our galaxy is a super massive black hole, this is easy to accept as a truth, but what I couldn't simply devour is how the solar system is orbiting around it ...
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1answer
118 views

About the hump on galaxy rotation curves

The past days I have been studying the rotation curves of disk galaxies and I am currently trying to understand how we can extract information about the dark matter of a galaxy by looking its rotation ...
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2answers
94 views

How Galaxy is formed?

Given the distance among stars (the most massive objective in the space) is so huge, the difference of order of magnitude is about 7. And also, since gravity is such a weak force, how is it likely for ...
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1answer
71 views

Hypervelocity black holes

Is it possible for a black hole to be ejected from a galaxy after an encounter with the central supermassive black hole? What would be the impact of the passage of the hyperV-BH through the galaxy? ...
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2answers
459 views

Galaxy Spectra: Emission and Absorption Lines

Spectra from galaxies include both absorption and emission lines. I do understand how both types of spectral lines are produced but I am not quite sure where each type is coming from when we observe a ...
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2answers
205 views

Do green stars exists?

I asked a university lecturer why we don't observe green stars, and he said the blackbody curve averages at that frequency such that the cones in our eyes don't recognise it. I have a hunch that ...
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2answers
775 views

What happens when the black hole at a galactic core eats the galaxy?

I'm making several assumptions, not sure if any are correct: there is a black hole at the center of a galaxy the black hole is eating the galaxy Eventually the galaxy will be gone, right? Has ...
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1answer
148 views

What exactly is expanding when they say universe is expanding? [duplicate]

We know that universe is expanding and galaxies are moving away from each other. Does this mean the galaxies are also expanding in itself and therefore I guess growing larger in volume? Depending on ...
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4answers
199 views

Explaining lightyear to non technical people

I need to explain the concept of a light-year to a non technical audience. Actually a presentation about planets and galaxies. It is quite difficult (for them) to comprehend the speed of light itself ...
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2answers
361 views

How do spiral arms form?

Why aren't all spinning galaxies shaped as discs as my young mind would expect? I understand how the innermost parts of a galaxy spin faster than the outer parts, and that could explain why some ...
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2answers
308 views

How does dark matter halo outside a galaxy help to explain galaxy rotation curve?

How does a dark matter halo outside a galaxy help to explain a galaxy rotation curve? Suppose for simplicity we use a model of a star rotating about a more massive star in a fixed circular orbit. For ...
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1answer
184 views

How does color of galaxies explain their distance?

Why do distant galaxies have different colors than closer ones?
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0answers
53 views

What is the equation for Lin-Shu density wave theory?

Lin-Shu density wave theory is a (very good) theory to explain the spiral arm structure of spiral galaxies. Where can I find the equations that underlie this theory? I've seen its computer ...
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1answer
87 views

Galaxy Kinematic Fitting: How to deal with Point Spread Function (PSF)

The past few months I have been studying astronomy and Integral Field Spectroscopy (IFS). What I want to do is to fit a galaxy kinematic model to data (ie: estimate the model parameters that give the ...
3
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1answer
129 views

Rotational velocity of face-on spiral galaxies using spectroscopy

I am doing my first steps in spectroscopy (IFS actually) and how we can learn more about galaxies by using it. I came up with a simple question which, unfortunately, I can not answer: How can we ...
4
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1answer
550 views

How far apart are galaxies on average? If galaxies were the size of peas, how many would be in a cubic meter?

The actual number: How far apart are galaxies on average? An attempt to visualize such a thing: If galaxies were the size of peas, how many would be in a cubic meter?
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3answers
231 views

How do we know for certain that space is expanding?

How do we know for certain that space is expanding? Let's say that in the year 1950, we observe that galaxy 1 is 5 billion light years away from us and galaxy 2 is 10 billion light years away from ...
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1answer
369 views

What is the frequency of occurrence of stellar classifications off the HR main-sequence?

An alternative version of this question would be: "if was to pick a star from the $10^{11}$ or so in our galaxy at random, what are the probabilities of it being various kinds of star?" (and I do mean ...
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1answer
254 views

Does conformal gravity explain the Bullet cluster lensing effects?

Conformal gravity is an "alternative" theory of gravity, where instead of using the Einstein-Hilbert action composed of the Ricci scalar, the square of the conformal Weyl tensor is used. It was ...
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6answers
213 views

Why are distant galaxies not actually tiny bits of matter?

Distant galaxies are said to be moving away from the Milky Way (and us) at speeds approaching the speed of light. Since Special Relativity tells us that any object moving away from us at a velocity of ...
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0answers
34 views

Research on galaxy “stiffness”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are galactic stars spiraling inwards? Has there been any research on the effects of interstellar gravitational attraction that would make collective star motion in a ...
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1answer
101 views

Dark Matter and Rotational Velocity Curves of Galaxies and Stellar Systems

The way dark matter is introduced to documentary watchers such as myself is to account for the difference between the rotational velocity of the stars in a galaxy compared to that of planets in ...
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4answers
407 views

Are galactic stars spiraling inwards?

Are the stars in our galaxy spiraling inwards towards the center, or are they in a permanent orbit? And if we are heading towards the center then what is the rate of this process? I started ...
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2answers
256 views

How Scientist Came to Know the Shape of our own galaxy without going out of it?

As far as I know, scientists have been able to see a lot of differently shaped galaxies in our visible universe through modern age telescopes. But I was wondering how it was possible to know how our ...
6
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1answer
258 views

Why doesn't my particle simulation end in a flat disc?

I've made a 3d particle simulator where particles are attracted to each other by the inverse of the square radius. The purpose of my experiment is to see if this alone would create a flat disk (like ...
5
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2answers
116 views

Why is the gas halo of the Milky Way so hot?

I have read on the webpage of NASA that there is a massive hot gas halo around our galaxy. Its temperature is between 100,000 and 1 million Kelvins or more. I do not understand why is it so hot. The ...
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3answers
485 views

Why the red-shift of distant galaxies is considered to be the effect of expanding spacetime?

Why it's not explained just by Doppler redshift caused by faster movement of those galaxies billions of years ago when that light was emitted? Would the speeds of the galaxies necessary for Doppler ...
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2answers
971 views

How can galaxies collide if everything moving outwards

If the universe started from Big Bang and everything is expanding outwards and actually accelerating away from each other, than "How is it possible for two galaxies to collide as they all are moving ...
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2answers
138 views

What is the Schechter luminosity function's domain of support?

I'm trying to fit a Schechter luminosity function to some data points, but it's not clear from this definition what the domain of support of the PDF should be. I'm familiar with the standard Pareto ...
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1answer
695 views

Does the large red shift value of galaxies mean they are far away?

When the red shifts of galaxies are large, why do we think that they are far away? I know about Hubble's law, Tully-Fisher relation of spiral galaxies, Faber-Jackson relation of elliptical ...
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1answer
275 views

Gravitation within galaxies

Do all galaxies radiate gravitational waves? What is the origin of these waves, the origin of the Galactic center? If it exists, do two galaxies warp together due to these waves, when they come ...
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1answer
38 views

Radiation from farther galaxies

I've read many facts from NASA's webpage.. Sometimes they tell, (for example) "NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory discovered this ultra-luminous X-Ray source (about 15 million LY) which shows an ...
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1answer
89 views

Why are galactic centers always brighter than the edges?

As you can see this image http://i.stack.imgur.com/YOt8C.jpg and other galaxy images, the centers generally much brighter. Why is that? Is there a very big star? A very big gravitational field?