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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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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1answer
677 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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2answers
229 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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65 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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2answers
197 views

Does the recent re-count of stars in elliptical gallaxies affect our understanding of the universal mass balance?

I've seen several popular reports of a new count of low-mass stars in elliptical galaxies (here's one). Edit: Pursuant to several correct comments I've changed the title to agree with the actual ...
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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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3answers
162 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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6answers
219 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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1answer
62 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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2answers
128 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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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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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 ...
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1answer
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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1answer
370 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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0answers
35 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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2answers
770 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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3answers
151 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
208 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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3answers
240 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
101 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
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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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1answer
151 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 ...
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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
38 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
40 views

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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1answer
127 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
66 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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1answer
185 views

Gamma Ray Bubble at the center of our galaxy seen by Fermi Telescope

How could we measure high energy photons, whithout measuring them ? I can't understand how we can "see" those Gamma Ray Bubbles if they are not reaching here In this graph from Nasa you can see ...
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1answer
25 views

What is the extent of the Galactic Magnetic Field?

What is the extent of the Galactic Magnetic Field? What does the Galactic Magnetic Field look like from afar (such as half-way ...
3
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1answer
95 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 ...
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5answers
921 views

Is there a black hole in the centre of the Milky Way?

Is it true that the whole galaxy is actually revolving, and powered by a black hole? Has it been proven, and if it is true, how can our solar systems actually keep up the momentum to withstand the ...
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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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3answers
129 views

Did I see two Milky Ways next to each other?

I am from the northern hemisphere and as far as I remember, the Milky Way was "single lane", just one stripe. At least, this is what I recall the Milky Way to look like when seeing it from near ...
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1answer
371 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 ...
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4answers
2k 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
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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2answers
57 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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1answer
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 ...
2
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1answer
89 views

Do red galaxies have red star-lit skies?

I noticed when looking at some deep space pictures, like the Sombrero Galaxy (M104) or the Hubble Deep Field (HDF), I see galaxies of various colors. Does that mean, for instance, than any inhabitant ...
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3answers
214 views

What is the strange event in this simulation of a galactic collision?

I was watching this video on YouTube: 2 Spiral Galaxies w/Supermassive Black Holes Collide Around half way, and again almost at the end, the black holes seem to suddenly give off some sort of force ...
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2answers
62 views

Lagrangian point or dark matter?

We know that spiral galaxies spin in a way such that we have to assume that dark matter is responsible for the extra mass required to do so. My question is, can Lagrangian points (L1 and L2) be used ...
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1answer
30 views

Current map of galaxies' z's and distances?

So, here's a diagram with some galaxies. I realize there are 500 billion galaxies out there (likely many more), but is there are fairly up-to-date diagram of all the galaxies, or a representative ...
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1answer
61 views

Approaching of Milky way to M87

The Andromeda Galaxy is approaching the Milky Way at about 110 kilometres per second (68 mi/s). What is the velocity that Milky way is approaching M87 ?
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1answer
80 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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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 ...