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 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, ...
5
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1answer
347 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 ...
4
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2answers
144 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
175 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
237 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 ...
5
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0answers
163 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.
3
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1answer
86 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 ...
7
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4answers
503 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
464 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
101 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 ...
4
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5answers
227 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 ...
2
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2answers
55 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?
4
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1answer
2k 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
249 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
114 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
329 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?
14
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5answers
25k 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 ...
7
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6answers
8k 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
135 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? ...
10
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1answer
62 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 ...
0
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1answer
160 views

two distant galaxies seen from earth

From the Earth If we observe two galaxies that are diametrically opposed and each 1000ly far from the earth. the separation distance between the galaxies will be 20000ly? really question is: if the ...
3
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1answer
235 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 ...
5
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1answer
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 ...
2
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1answer
122 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 ...
3
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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 ...
2
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3answers
149 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
543 views

$N$-body simulation in General Relativity

How would one perform an $N$-body simulation in General Relativity (GR) for something like galaxy formation or galactic dynamics? Suppose one wants to simulate the rotation curve $v(r)$ for galaxies ...
7
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4answers
667 views

What does ionization of neutral Hydrogen have to do with “transparency”?

Most accounts of the early history of the Universe make some reference to (re)ionization as being the reason that the Universe becomes transparent after a period of opacity caused by the absence of ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Are we capable of discovering planets in the Andromeda galaxy?

I just watched this SpaceRip video on YouTube which shows pictures taken by Hubble while looking into the disk of the Andromeda galaxy to study a certain type of variable star. It occurred to me that ...
4
votes
3answers
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?
5
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6answers
2k views

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 ...
5
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3answers
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 ...
23
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3answers
3k views

How would we tell antimatter galaxies apart?

Given that antimatter galaxies are theoretically possible, how would they be distinguishable from regular matter galaxies? That is, antimatter is equal in atomic weight and all properties, except for ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Solar system, visible stars and deep sky objects

Since I've seen that galaxies are often called "deep sky objects", as opposed to individual stars, does this mean that all visible stars in the night sky actually only belong to The Milky Way Galaxy? ...
6
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1answer
126 views

Stellar Viscosity in Galaxies

Is there such as thing as the viscosity of stars in a galaxy, along the lines of gravitational attraction between stars changing the dynamics. If so, how is that put in terms of the Virial Theorem?
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2answers
1k views

Mass of a galaxy via luminosity

Is there a general formula for calculating the mass of a galaxy, or even a nebula from the luminosity? Or, is there a way of calculating the total mass of a galaxy from its energy output? Is there a ...
1
vote
1answer
249 views

Mass of a galaxy via Luminosity [closed]

Is there a way of calculating the mass of a galaxy, or even a nebula from the luminosity? EDIT I'm deleting this, and moving the question to Astronomy Stack Exchange - thanks david
11
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4answers
3k views

How to find the Andromeda galaxy without using a go-to telescope?

In other words, what is the proper technique (star-hopping or other?) in order to find and properly point a telescope to this target? Would a star atlas or other tool/reference help? Can I use the ...
18
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2answers
451 views

How would the night sky appear at the edge of the galaxy?

In Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series, there is a planet named Terminus which is believed to be the planet farthest from the galactic center. There are almost no visible stars in its sky, only the ...
6
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3answers
235 views

What frame(s) of reference are used to measure the rotation of the Sun around the galaxy ?

I can find various speeds and estimated durations listed at numerous places but none specifically describe the frame of reference. Possible options as example of kind of answer I expect. Local ...
4
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3answers
228 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?
7
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2answers
1k views

What happen when two galaxies collide?

As the title suggests, I know collision of galaxies happens. Questions are Why do they collide (obviously because of gravity, but in what conditions)? Aftermath of the collision? If there is a super ...
8
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3answers
127 views

What's dark matter and who discovered it?

I have heard about dark matter that's called the Master Of The Universe. What's this and is the dark matter the reason galaxies exist?
11
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4answers
357 views

What is the name of our Galaxy?

I was told that the name 'Milky Way' first came about when people observered the milky looking stretch of sky; that is, before telescopes came about and we realised it wasn't a milky cloud, but rather ...
16
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2answers
4k views

How many stars are in the Milky Way galaxy, and how can we determine this?

I have heard multiple estimates on the quantity of stars within our galaxy, anything from 100 to 400 billion of them. The estimates seem to be increasing for the time being. What are the main methods ...
17
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2answers
471 views

How can a spiral galaxy exist?

A spiral arm orbiting a central mass should be dispersed quite quickly as the outer elements would move more slowly than the inner ones. The Milky Way, is about 59 Galactic Years old, which, one would ...
4
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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 ...