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 aren't there spherical galaxies? [duplicate]

According to the Wikipedia page on Galaxy Types, there are four main kinds of galaxies: Spirals - as the name implies, these look like huge spinning spirals with curved "arms" branching out ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
19
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2answers
554 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 ...
18
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2answers
452 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 ...
17
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2answers
482 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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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?    
14
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1answer
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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
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What happens when the black hole at a galactic core eats the galaxy? [duplicate]

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 ...
11
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4answers
359 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 ...
11
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1answer
892 views

Why don't the black holes appear black in color in images of galaxies taken from HST?

According to NASA a black hole is anything but empty space. Rather, it is a great amount of matter packed into a very small area According to the documentary Space Unraveling The Cosmos about ...
11
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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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Why don't stars have Keplerian orbits?

In a comment to Rob Jeffries' answer to this question on spherical galaxies, Incnis Mrsi commented There should exist the entire range of orbits in a spherically symmetric system: near-circular, ...
10
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3answers
807 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, ...
10
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1answer
63 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 ...
9
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1answer
88 views

Is it possible to determine whether distant galaxies are gravitationally bound

In a previous question, one issue was related to the potential energy of cosmic structures. This raised in particular the question of whether these structures are gravitationally bound. If you ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Why do galaxies and water going down a plug hole spin?

We all experience things spinning, whether it's water down a drain, the earth on its axis, planets round the sun, or stars in a galaxy - even electrons round an atom. But why is spin so common in ...
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?
8
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5answers
455 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.
8
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2answers
401 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 ...
8
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3answers
265 views

Are there models/simulations of antigravitational antimatter-galaxies?

In the comments to another question's answer, I started wondering: Assuming antimatter possessed negative gravitational mass§ (which is not proven impossible to date, though deemed unlikely), ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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 ...
7
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1answer
364 views

Are the distances we measure to objects in the universe incorrect because of their relative motion?

For example the agreed distance to the Andromeda Galaxy is 2.5 million light years, and consequentially, we see the galaxy as it was 2.5 million years ago! (A time interval in which the galaxy must ...
7
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1answer
361 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 ...
7
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6answers
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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 ...
7
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4answers
506 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 ...
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3answers
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How many more galaxies are out there in the Universe (beyond the observable radius)?

Let's say that the number of large galaxies in the observable universe is $n$ (approximated to 350 billion). If the universe is homogenous and isotropic, what are the estimations for the total number ...
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3answers
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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 ...
6
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3answers
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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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2answers
375 views

How will the super massive black hole affect 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 ...
6
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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 ...
6
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1answer
127 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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3answers
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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 ...
6
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2answers
163 views

How can we differentiate between matter and antimatter? [duplicate]

For instance if there was a galaxy, assume it to be made up of antimatter (isolated from other "normal" galaxies), how would we, or rather, would we be able to distinguish if it was made up of matter ...
6
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4answers
421 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 ...
6
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2answers
106 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
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2answers
207 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 ...
6
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2answers
1k 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 ...
6
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2answers
514 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 ...
6
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1answer
101 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, ...
6
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2answers
528 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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3answers
700 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 ...
6
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2answers
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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 ...
6
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1answer
305 views

Does conformal gravity explain the Bullet cluster lensing effects?

Conformal gravity is an "alternative" theory of gravity, where instead of using the Einstein-Hilbert action composed of the Ricci scalar, the square of the conformal Weyl tensor is used. It was ...
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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4answers
467 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 ...
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 ...
5
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2answers
406 views

What is the luminosity of the Milky Way galaxy?

The luminosity of the Milky Way galaxy according to this is $5\times10^{36}$ Watts, but this number suggests that there are about 10 billion stars with Solar luminosities in the Milky Way, which ...