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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108 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 ...
5
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4answers
441 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 ...
6
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2answers
321 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
291 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
125 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
586 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
1k 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
167 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
795 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
93 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?
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2answers
852 views

NED velocity to redshift conversion?

I've done some search with the Nasa Extragalactic Database (NED) and I have a very basic question about the velocity/redshift conversion. For example, for the first object of this page, we have ...
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2answers
2k views

How could scientists know how far a star or galaxy is from us?

How do astronomers measure how far a star (or galaxy) is away from the earth? How would they know that it has taken 13 million years for light to travel in space before it reaches us?
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1answer
170 views

When would the proposed black hole at the centre of Milky Way gulp in our solar system?

I've heard and read that our solar system lies near to the peripheral region of the Galaxy. Then accordingly we would have a greater probability of sustaining to eventual gulping down by the ...
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0answers
137 views

Galaxies and projected radius vs arcmins

I have two sets of data (globular clusters), one for the Andromeda Galaxy and one for the Milky Way. I want to compare the distribution of globular clusters between the two galaxies according to ...
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2answers
92 views

Galaxies Center

It is believed (to my understanding) that at the center of all large galaxies are super massive black holes. Why is it then when you see photos of galaxies that the center is extremely bright if a ...
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1answer
40 views

Why are jets not commonly found in spiral galaxies?

Jets and radio lobes are generally associated with elliptical galaxies. Why not spirals?
3
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1answer
195 views

How much gas is in elliptical galaxies?

it is widely known that elliptical galaxies have little or no gas, but how is this determined? What is the amount of gas? Is there a decent ratio of stellar mass to gas for ellipticals? How does ...
4
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1answer
161 views

Population I and II stars

I have been thinking about the formation of the galaxy. I can easily understand that old, low-metallicity stars are in the halo, but I'm missing something when it comes to the disk. If ...
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4answers
401 views

What makes the stars that are farther from the nucleus of the galaxy go faster than those in the middle?

It has no sense that stars that have a bigger radius and apparently less angular speed($\omega$) goes faster than the ones near the center.
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1answer
1k views

Mass/light ratio of galaxies

I'm really stuck. I need to figure out the mass/light ratio of a galaxy in solar units. I know its mass is 5.7 x 1010 solar masses. I know its absolute magnitude (-17.3) and distance (29 Mpc). I'm ...
2
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3answers
31 views

Is there a correlation between the mass of a supermassive black hole and the mass of its host galaxy?

I would love to know! I can find lots about the mass-velocity dispersion relation. There's a mass-luminosity relation (but not really tight). I hope you can include references, as I'm spending ...
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3answers
687 views

Andromeda/Milky Way collision: How, and how accurately, can a galaxy's lateral velocity be measured?

Some sources suggest that the Andromeda Galaxy is likely to collide with our own in approximately 3 to 5 billion years. We can estimate the distance to the Andromeda Galaxy using various techniques, ...
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1answer
144 views

How will a super massive black hole effect our galaxy?

I've recently learned that the general consensus is that several (if not, most) galaxies have super massive black holes in their center, in particular the Milky Way. This, at least to me, makes ...
3
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2answers
769 views

At what distance could you see andromeda with the naked eye?

We've all seen the telescope photographs of andromeda galaxy: I'm wondering if it were possible to travel close enough to the andromeda galaxy could you achieve a same perspective with the naked ...
4
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1answer
364 views

Accuracy and assumptions in deriving the Tully-Fisher relation

I understand the mathematical derivation of the Tully Fisher relation from basic physics formulas, as shown on this site. However, after using the physics equations, it seems that several assumptions ...
6
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1answer
89 views

Why does Omega Centauri have a distinct chemical signature from the rest of the Milky Way?

In answering a question about the orbital path of Omega Centauri, I learned that it has a distinct chemical signature from the rest of the Milky Way. Basically, it is very rich in s-process elements, ...
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1answer
240 views

Why are there not many detectable supernovas?

Astronomers estimate that there are between 200 billion to 400 billion stars contained within the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy probably has 1 trillion stars. There may be around 500 billion galaxies ...
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2answers
127 views

Galaxies that are newer than our own one

Can we see any galaxies/stars that are newer than our own galaxy? As light takes (c) amount of times to reach us - so relatively speaking, light which would have left the newer galaxy (and far enough ...
4
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1answer
147 views

AGN accretion disk vs. torus

The torus is the donut of dust encircling the Active Galactic nucleus. The accretion disk is inside the torus. Is there a boundary between the two? At what point does a torus become an accretion ...
2
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1answer
48 views

How do we explain the phase change between high and low star formation rates?

During a recent talk I was at, someone, who models galaxy characteristics from dust amounts and spectral energy distributions (SEDs), quoted a fairly prompt change from 'high' to 'low' stellar ...
4
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1answer
202 views

Does the dark matter halo rotate with the galaxy?

If the dark matter halo is stationary related to the arms of the galaxy then tidal effects should slow the galaxy rotation. If it rotates with the normal matter in the galaxy then shouldn't it ...
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0answers
143 views

Relation between isophotal radius and virial radius in spiral galaxies?

Is there any (proposed) relation between the B-band isophotal radius of a spiral galaxy and its virial radius (r_200)? If you know of such a relation, please post a reference paper.
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1answer
83 views

Looking for a resource that explains all colors and shapes of stars and galaxies

I've been looking at some of the astronomy pictures of the day from NASA. They all have content that is indicative of certain situations or events. Supernovas have the scattered lines look, new stars ...
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4answers
423 views

Why do 3d spheres and gravity tend to rotating discs on one plane?

Whether is it our solar system or a whole galaxy, there is usually a massive object (star or black hole) at the centre with gas and objects rotating around it. The gravitational effect of the ...
2
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1answer
370 views

If we were to travel through space (sci-fi style), how close to the false-color images would the galaxies we see be?

I understand that the black-and-white images you see looking through a household telescope are only like that due to the intensity of the light that reaches us, and that most of the astronomy images ...
2
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1answer
91 views

Creating/Downloading a large Galaxy Dataset

I was wondering where I can get a more or less complete set of a galaxy to test an n-body simulation (preferably two colliding galaxies with approx 300k to 1M elements). Is it possible to extract ...
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5answers
178 views

Is dark matter around the Milky Way spread in a spiral shape (or, in a different shape)?

Dark matter doesn't interact with electromagnetic radiation, but it, at least, participates in gravitational interactions as known from the discovery of dark matter. But does dark matter exist in a ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Which way do spiral galaxies rotate?

Is it known whether spiral galaxies typically (or exclusively?) rotate with the arms trailing or facing? Intuitively it feels weird to think of the arms as facing the direction of rotation, but ...
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2answers
54 views

Did physical models of galaxies come before they were actually observed?

Black holes were first predicted by astrophysics, then observed. Was the existence of galaxies first predicted by astrophysics, or first observed by astronomers?
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1answer
1k views

Density of stars near the center of the Milky Way

At night, I can look up and see the Milky Way across the sky. My question is, supposing our solar system was, instead of way out on an 'arm' of the galaxy, if we were near the galactic center. Would ...
2
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0answers
213 views

Why do galaxies collide? Reconciling dark energy and an expanding universe with the fact that some galaxies are on a collision course

My layman understanding of cosmology is: galaxies are uniformly (more or less) spread throughout the universe, per the Big Bang and the fact that in a central explosion, all dispersed points are ...
4
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3answers
107 views

What is the name of this galaxy in HCG7?

What is the name of the predominantly blue spiral galaxy at center-top of this image of Hickson Compact Group 7? I've found a few articles mentioning the group, but they never seem to list the names ...
5
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1answer
292 views

How and why will the Milky way collide with the Andromeda?

Hubble's law says that the universe is expanding.How come the milky way and the andromeda are on a collision course?How will they end up colliding with each other?
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5answers
22k views

Can the “Milky Way” galaxy be seen by the naked eye in a clear sky?

Is this photo "real"? Are the stars not super-imposed in the image?    
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2answers
1k views

Formula for Rotation curves of Galaxies

To ask a more specific one for the rotation curves of elliptical galaxies, and hope from there to later understand the dynamics of spiral galaxies. Treating the galaxy as an isothermal ...
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6answers
7k views

Why are some galaxies flat?

What is the explanation for the flatness of some galaxies? (If it's due to their rotation then why they are rotating, why some other galaxies are not flat etc., I would like to hear a nice and ...
5
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1answer
129 views

Galaxies seen from Earth

If we observe two galaxies from the Earth that are diametrically opposed and each 10,000 light-years from the Earth, will the separation distance between the galaxies be 20,000 light-years? ...
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1answer
54 views

Why is the measured distance to the Triangulum Galaxy much more uncertain than to the Andromeda Galaxy?

Why is the measured distance uncertainty for M33 (835 ± 105 kiloparsec) six times bigger than the measured distance uncertainty for M31 (778 ± 17 kiloparsec)? They are approximately at the same ...