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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Why is the universe so organized?

If you think about the Big Bang and the flow of matter in all directions, you would think, how unorganized would this universe be? No matter how long it would take. The idea that matter or most of it ...
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474 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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262 views

What does this stellar mass distribution mean?

According to this pie above and for the "Red Dwarfs" part, which of these is correct : 1) 41% of the stellar mass of a galaxy is in stars with masses < $0.25$ $M_{\odot}$ or 2) 41% of the ...
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93 views

What keeps galaxies united like a solar system?

Blackholes may be really strong but they act in a very short range. For example if the sun was a black having the same mass, it will be dark but we will still be revolving around it. It wont engulf ...
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238 views

Shapes of galaxies

I've heard most of galaxies are spiral or ellipsoid shaped. Is it true? If true, then why they form in such shapes? How did arms of the spiral galaxies form?
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303 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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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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70 views

Why doesn't the light from galaxies appear stretched? [duplicate]

Maybe it's my ignorance of astrophysics/cosmology, but I have been wondering this: Why do galaxies not appear stretched when we observe them? Assuming a galaxy that we observe is 100,000 light years ...
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90 views

What is the area of the sky that is covered by the Hubble Ultra Deep Field image?

I have found two different numbers for the area of the sky covered by the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). According to this, the image is roughly 2.4 arcminutes wide. The image is also attached to the ...
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1k views

Most accurate ways to find the average distance between stars in Milky way galaxy

I've already posted here on quora. But, I'm not totally sure if it's the most reasonable method. Would anyone care to elaborate on how to find the average distance between stars in a given galaxy ...
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366 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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178 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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139 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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137 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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341 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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42 views

According to the initial mass function, should there be more brown dwarfs than red dwarfs?

According to the IMF and the stellar mass distribution, stars become more abundant the less massive they are. And while objects must have a mass > 0.075 solar mass to become a star, brown dwarfs with ...
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174 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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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 ...
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247 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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1k 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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165 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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2answers
875 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 ...
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273 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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118 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 ...
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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 ...
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66 views

Can the Hanbury-Brown and Twiss effect be used to measure the size of composite objects like galaxies?

I know that the Hanbury-Brown and Twiss effect can be used to measure the size of stars. Can it also be used to measure the size of galaxies?
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170 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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1answer
106 views

Correlation between large-scale galaxy structure and CMB fluctuations?

During a relatively non-technical astronomy seminar the other day, the speaker displayed the famous WMAP full-sky image as an aid to describing what the CMB is, the scale of its fluctuations, etc. ...
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149 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 ...
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57 views

What is the distribution of Population I and II stars in the Milky Way galaxy?

I have been trying to find out the distribution of Population I and II stars in the Milky Way. The distribution I mean is the percentage of each population to the total stars in the galaxy. So in ...
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119 views

How can a black hole zap a galaxy into existence?

I am referring to this picture published here. Apparently super massive black holes emit radiation and matter in astrophysical jets. And these jets can form galaxies. I have some questions: Isn't ...
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241 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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1answer
180 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 ...
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121 views

Baryonic Missing Mass

A recent article from a popular astronomy website tells of discovery of missing mass (not dark matter) that has puzzled astronomers for some time. Apparently, the discovery involves enhanced electron ...
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402 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 ...
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71 views

Why is the Milky Way flat? [duplicate]

I read recently that the galactic "flatness" of the Milky Way is due to the rotation of the galaxy combined with a vast stretch of time. Yet, I also read where 1) the Milky Way rotates once every 225 ...
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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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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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239 views

How are galaxy filaments formed? And do they have any analogues in stellar formation?

In physical cosmology, galaxy filaments, also called supercluster complexes or great walls, are, so far, the largest known cosmic structures in the universe. They are massive, thread-like ...
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256 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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2answers
151 views

Frame dragging — is there a “non-tiny” example?

Now. As I understand it, in fact, the earth (10^25 kg) creates a very small, very tiny, frame dragging effect. Indeed, we have measured this using satellite experiments. So, the Earth (10^25 kg) ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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80 views

How much of a galaxy's mass is in stars?

I have been trying to find an answer for this question for a while without a success, so I guess it might not have a specific answer. But to make things easier, let's take the Milky Way galaxy as an ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
217 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 ...
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1answer
91 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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2answers
98 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

What determines a progenitor's fate as a spiral or elliptical?

I was thinking about my answer to Are the inner planets on planar orbits because there was more dust in the inner solar system (early on in planetary accretion)? - when it occurred to me that maybe I ...
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1answer
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Why are jets not commonly found in spiral galaxies?

Jets and radio lobes are generally associated with elliptical galaxies. Why not spirals?
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What is the average mass of galaxies according to Hubble Deep and Ultra Deep field observations?

It is very widely known among people interested in astronomy that there are 100-400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy and there are ~ 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, which is ...