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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16
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351 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 ...
3
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1answer
25 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. ...
1
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1answer
54 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 ...
5
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3answers
136 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 ...
1
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2answers
126 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 ...
4
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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?
13
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2answers
3k 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 ...
2
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4answers
817 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
29 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 ...
1
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2answers
33 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 ...
1
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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.
3
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1answer
118 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. ...
1
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2answers
988 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
48 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
46 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 ...
11
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5answers
19k 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
60 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 ...
3
votes
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. ...
4
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
43 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
675 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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2answers
191 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
124 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
313 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
491 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 ...
2
votes
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? ...
5
votes
3answers
497 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
800 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
79 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
116 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?
1
vote
1answer
155 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
116 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?
14
votes
2answers
371 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views

How does color of galaxies explain their distance?

Why do distant galaxies have different colors than closer ones?
0
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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 ...
2
votes
2answers
53 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?
3
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
131 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
votes
1answer
564 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?
3
votes
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
374 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
5
votes
0answers
129 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.
7
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...