Questions regarding systems of large numbers of stars held together by gravity.

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15
votes
6answers
15k views

What will happen to life on Earth when the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies collide?

It is said that the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies are coming close to each other with a speed of approximately 400000 km/hour. They will be together in the next 4 billion years. What will happen ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How far is the Earth/Sun above/below the galactic plane, and is it heading toward/away from it?

How far is the Earth/Sun above/below the galactic plane, and is it heading toward/away from it? We know the Sun is orbiting the galactic center every 225 million years. But how far are we from the ...
14
votes
2answers
223 views

Why do we believe that the super massive black holes at the centers of two merging galaxies would themselves merge?

When listening to podcasts or watching youtube videos of astronomers discussing galaxy mergers, I often hear talk about how the super massive black holes at their centers will themselves merge during ...
6
votes
2answers
182 views

Are there any galaxies which fell out of sight horizon due to cosmic expansion?

If farthest galaxies run away from us with acceleration making them exceed speed of light, we should expect them to disappear from sky among time with increasing quantity. Did we observe this? Can we ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Distance of extra-galactic Classical Cepheids

There have been many questions and answers about finding the distance of a star from the earth. But as I did some research on the net, I found that we have specific approaches for finding the ...
8
votes
1answer
357 views

How Much Overlap Will the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way Have When They Collide?

Measurements of Andromeda's blue shift let us conclude that the distance between the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way is decreasing and in a few billion years they will "collide". The blue shift ...
4
votes
2answers
144 views

Why are stars more metallic closer as you move closer to the galactic bulge?

As I see it, most of the stars in the galactic bulge are Population I stars. However, as one moves farther from the galactic bulge, star metallicity decreases. In fact, halo stars are almost entirely ...
2
votes
3answers
170 views

How fast is the universe expanding?

I've hear several theories stating that the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light, others claim that the universe expands faster the further away you measure it. Which of this is ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Diameter of any galaxy

I've been trying to figure out how to find the diameter in kpc of any galaxy given that one knows the distance to it in Mpc (d) and also the angular diameter/size (A) in arcsec. I had a formula before ...
0
votes
2answers
129 views

How do I see more than just points in the sky?

I just bought a new telescope with these specifications: Aperture: 203 mm Focal Length: 1200 mm F/ratio: f/5.9 I usually use a 28 mm eyepiece, giving me about 42.5x magnification, but I also have ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is our solar system “tipped” about 63° with respect to the plane of our galaxy?

Our own solar system is "tipped" by about 63 degrees with respect to the plane of the galaxy. Has it ever been researched or is there any scientific theory which could explain the reason why our solar ...
18
votes
8answers
6k views

Why can't we see distant galaxies with the naked eye?

If light keeps travelling in a straight line, why can't we see distant galaxies with the naked eye? Surely if you stared long enough, the light from them would eventually hit your eye? I apologize if ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

How many stars and galaxies can be seen by the naked eye?

How many of the luminous dots that we see naked are galaxies and not stars from our galaxy? I imagine that the majority of the luminous points that we see naked eye during the night, are actually ...
1
vote
2answers
259 views

How do astronomers estimate the total mass of dust in clouds and galaxies?

As I understand it astronomers estimate the mass of stars by studying the orbits of their companions (other stars or planets). This helps them to derive relationships between the luminosities and ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Was the Milky Way ever a quasar?

Is there any evidence that the Milky Way could have been a quasar in it's early history? Is it thought that most galaxies come from quasars?
9
votes
3answers
402 views

Statistically, what would the average distance of the closest black hole be?

The closest confirmed black hole is several thousand light years away from earth. Our galaxy has about 100 billion stars. I didn't find any reliable information on the black hole count of ratio versus ...
5
votes
1answer
534 views

What is supposedly in the center of the Milky Way?

It's big. It's bright. It's white. It's so intense. But what is at the center of the Milky Way?
4
votes
1answer
67 views

How to determine the ellipticity of galaxies in SDSS

What is the best approach to determine the ellipticity of galaxies in the SDSS DR12. I have read this page. Are those really good methods? Do flux-weighted second moments (as given in the stokes ...
6
votes
2answers
124 views

Are Gamma Ray Bursts of galactic or extragalactic origin?

I read about the 1995 Lamb-Paczynski debate on whether GRBs are galactic or extragalactic in origin. With our current experimental evidence, have we found whether GRBs are galactic or extragalactic?
11
votes
2answers
509 views

How do we know Milky Way is a 'barred' spiral galaxy?

In reference to the question, "How can we tell that the milky way is a spiral galaxy?" The answers there clearly sum up the question asked. But Milky Way is not just a spiral galaxy. It is further ...
10
votes
3answers
874 views

Where does the Milky Way end?

I was reading this article and it says the following: Researchers measured the mass of the Milky Way and found that our galaxy is approximately half the weight of a neighbouring galaxy known as ...
6
votes
2answers
242 views

How does the concept of a universe with no center work?

I understand basically that the universe is homogenous (looks the same from every point) and I was told in my astro class that it's supposed to have no center, but how that works boggles my mind. I ...
4
votes
2answers
211 views

What is the direction of the movement of the solar system in relation to the galaxy's plane

I got from this answer that the axis of the solar system is tilted of about 63 degrees in relation to that of our galaxy, so I can assume that we move through space (at least locally) roughly in a ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

How many stars are in the Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy?

The Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy is a small satellite Galaxy of the Milky Way. There are many such satellites galaxies and I'm trying to compile basic data on them. However, I can't find an estimate for the ...
3
votes
3answers
223 views

Quasars and SMBH

Quasars are known to contain supermassive Black Holes at their cores. So does that mean that the number of quasars is equal to that of the SMBHs out there?
3
votes
0answers
51 views

What percentage of galaxies rotate with trailing arms?

I am looking for the percentage of galaxies that rotate with trailing arms. I know that only a small percentage of galaxies rotate with leading arms and would like to know whether there are any ...
2
votes
2answers
498 views

Galaxies are moving away from each other then how Milkyway and Andromeda galaxy coming towards each other?

The Andromeda Galaxy is approaching the Milky Way at about 684000 mi/hours, making it one of the few blueshifted galaxies. The Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way are thus expected to collide in about ...
0
votes
1answer
320 views

Is it possible that we see our solar system as a star?

A few days ago I just read here that our galaxies (one of which we are part of) move or expand faster than light, And read here that light we see from stars is extremely old, maybe more than several ...