Questions regarding the Milky Way Galaxy, the galaxy that Earth's solar system is in.

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23
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4answers
4k views

How can we tell that the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy?

From Earth, we can distinguish the type of another galaxy very easily simply by observing the shape, colour, and structure of the galaxy when we image it. But since we are located inside the Milky ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Milky Way Galaxy from Earth

I've seen a lot of beautiful pictures of the Milky Way from Earth such as this: ...but I can't understand what the cloudy ribbon at the bottom the horizon is. Is it a super-large nebula? Or is it ...
15
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6answers
14k 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 ...
13
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2answers
3k views

How many planetary systems exist in our galaxy?

For many years scientists have studied our own solar system and modern technology allows them to look deeper and deeper into space. Knowing the Sun is only one of a few billion stars in the Milky Way ...
13
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1answer
282 views

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, forms part of a galaxy group called The Local Group. What are the parameters that dictate what a galaxy group is?

Are there different classifications or just the one? How does our galaxy group compare with others?
12
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1answer
337 views

How are the photos of the Milky Way taken?

We are inside the Milky Way, right? So, how are we able to take photos of the Milky Way?
11
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2answers
416 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
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1answer
356 views

What do we know about the lifecycle of the Milky Way (or any other spiral galaxy)?

I know that the Milky Way will collide with Andromeda in the distant future but based on what we know so far there is a supermassive black hole in the center of each galaxy and thus the Milky Way will ...
9
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3answers
725 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 ...
9
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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 ...
8
votes
2answers
617 views

Is the Milky Way Visible from Nebraska?

Is the Milky Way Visible from Nebraska? If so, where is the best place to view it, and also what would be the best time of night to see it? I know this is probably a very novice question, just ...
8
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1answer
122 views

How do we calculate the escape velocity of galaxies?

How do we calculate the escape velocity of galaxies? Do we have to know the total mass? What is the escape velocity for Milky Way?
8
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2answers
186 views

How often does Earth cross the galaxy regions with higher supernovae activity?

According to Summa Technologiae, a book by a Polish author Stanisław Lem that based his science fiction novels on scientific research of the era, the Earth crossed in the moment of forming of life the ...
7
votes
3answers
229 views

How do we know that our galaxy is a spiral galaxy?

I know that our galaxy is spiral in shape, but I'm wondering how the scientists found out that our galaxy has a spiral shape. I don't think we can see the entire galaxy from telescopes on Earth, ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Why don't we see the galaxy center?

When we look at the sky, and see the Milky Way, we mainly see a band, with no real center. On a more accurate picture we can guess the center of the galaxy (see this picture), but we still don't see ...
7
votes
1answer
299 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 ...
6
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1answer
705 views

How many arms does the Milky Way galaxy have?

How many arms does the Milky Way galaxy have and how is it determined?
6
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2answers
298 views

What can we expect from the first accurate image of a black hole? (wich will be taken soon)

From recent news from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy: The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded 14 Million Euros to a team of European astrophysicists to construct the first ...
6
votes
3answers
264 views

Disc of the milky way

For those that haven't seen this link - please have a look as it's a an awe-inspiring 360 interactive panormic image of the milky way (may need a bit of time to load though!). I've found myself idly ...
6
votes
2answers
327 views

How does the Milky Way look like above 66° North and below 66° South?

I read on Wikipedia: depending on the time of night and the year, the arc of Milky Way can appear relatively low or relatively high in the sky. For observers from about 65 degrees north to 65 ...
6
votes
1answer
97 views

What is in the brightest area of the night sky?

When I look up in the night sky, I assume the brightest area, commonly known as "The Milky Way", is the Galactic Center of our home galaxy. But then I stumbled upon this illustration, which seems ...
6
votes
1answer
109 views

Best approximation for Sun's trajectory around galactic center?

What is the current best approximation for the path the Sun takes around the center of the Milky Way? I have found some information on the approximate position of the Milky Way's center, the speed of ...
5
votes
2answers
147 views

Fate of the Spiral Arms of the Milky Way and Andromeda

In a few billion years, the Milky Way and Andromeda will collide. Chances are, there won't be many spectacular stellar collisions, and there's a pretty good chance that the Solar system (and most ...
5
votes
2answers
273 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
2answers
132 views

Are there are any photographs online that approximate what the Milky Way looks like to the unaided eye?

I love seeing all the long-exposure photographs of the Milky Way, but I'm going to Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania next month, and I'm wondering if there are any photos that approximate what ...
4
votes
1answer
504 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
1k views

When will the Milky Way “arrive” at the Great Attractor, and what all happen then?

The Great Attractor is described as a location to towards which the Milky Way, along with all other galaxies in the Laniakea Supercluster are moving. How long will it take for the Milky Way to ...
3
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3answers
213 views

Why do pictures of the Milky Way look like a spiral?

When I see pictures of the Milky Way they show a spiral shape. Why is this?
3
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5answers
256 views

Can the Milky Way be seen with the naked eye? Does this apply to any galaxy? If yes, then how and when?

I have seen different pictures in a different community to showcasing the Milky Way. I can never tell whether it's edited or it's the real picture. Actually, I can never see any galaxy as such by with ...
3
votes
2answers
282 views

Leaving the Milky Way

If we had a hypothetical spacecraft, would it be possible to exit our galaxy, wait for some time and enter back into another section? Will this method be more efficient that a more traditional flight ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Distribution of Stars in Milky Way and globular cluster analogy

Just a quick (and hopefully simple) question on the distribution of stars in the Milky Way and in globular clusters. I was wondering why it IS NOT possible to describe the distributions of stars in ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Is metallicity low at the central region or nucleus of the Milky Way?

Is metallicity low at the central region or nucleus of the Milky Way? Does metallicity decrease or increase as we move from the center out to the edges of our galaxy?
3
votes
1answer
154 views

What are Flamsteed numbers?

Can you tell me about Flamsteed numbers? I just know that it is a specific number used for identification of stars. But what is the theory behind it? In what way is the number given to stars?
3
votes
2answers
96 views

What happens when two black holes collide? [duplicate]

There are many hypothesis saying that there will a collision between the milky way and Andromeda galaxy...so what happens when two black holes will collide?? And how will it effect the other objects ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

Number density of stars on the Galactic plane

The number density of stars (e.g. the number of stars per cubic parsec) is given by $$N(z) = N(0) e^{-|z|/h}$$ where $z$ is the height above the Galactic plane, $h$ is the scale height for a specific ...
3
votes
0answers
38 views

What is the frequency distribution for luminosity classes in the Milky Way Galaxy?

I'm working on a game concept that does some mild simulation of realistic stellar classes and luminosities. In particular, I'd like to roughly model the general frequencies of the classes and ...
3
votes
0answers
20 views

dataset of stars in the milky way galaxy [duplicate]

Does anyone have any idea were I can get a dataset of stars in the milky way galaxy, their mass and their planets and distance of planets from their star? I have tried various catalogs of NASA. I ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Sky view from Stellarium software vs. Sky view with naked eye

I'm slowly starting to interest in astronomy. Currently I'm enjoying in stargazing but unfortunately place where I live is very light polluted. I'm planing my vacation in a couple of months and one ...
3
votes
3answers
261 views

Milky way: How do we know its appearance? [duplicate]

How can we know how does the Milky Way look like if we are in it? Sorry if the answer is evident, I am not an expert.
2
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4answers
166 views

Milky Way Formation

Is the Milky Way a collection of merged galaxies, or has it only been one galaxy that was created from the interstellar media?
2
votes
2answers
441 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Which spiral arm of the Milky Way is Kepler-62 in?

I am trying to find out which spiral arm of the Milky Way the star Kepler-62 and its planetary system are in. All I can find by Google searching is that it is part of the Lyra constellation, but I ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Is the sphere of influence of our milky way's center super massive black hole same as the Milky way's radius?

The sphere of influence is a region around a supermassive black hole in which the gravitational potential of the black hole dominates the gravitational potential of the host galaxy(found it in wiki). ...
2
votes
4answers
185 views

Why won't the Milky Way colliding with Andromeda affect the Solar System?

According to Wikipedia Such an event would have no adverse effect on the system and the chances of any sort of disturbance to the Sun or planets themselves may be remote. I'm imagining that this ...
2
votes
1answer
369 views

Is Zeta Reticuli within the Orion Arm?

My research has told me astronomers have labeled the galaxy arm that our system is located the Orion Arm but I have yet to find out if that also applies to Zeta Reticuli or not (not asking about ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Wher can I find a list of blueshifted regions in the Milky Way?

It would be nice to get a relation between the blueshifted regions and the distance to earth. I'm searching especially for objects in other galactic arms.
2
votes
1answer
96 views

What is the exact position of the Large Magellanic Cloud?

I am not able to visualize the position of the LMC and have not found a satisfactory explanation... Can someone please answer it this way? Relative to a ray joining the Earth to the ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Metal rich or metal poor?

What does the image in the link mean? Are the stars in the halo high in metallicity or low? How about at the bottom by the disk? ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Milky Way stellar number density : is the stated equation in this paper incorrect?

The paper is : http://www.astro.washington.edu/users/ivezic/Publications/tomographyI.pdf The equation is equation #23 in the paper. It's a model for the density of stars in the Milky Way's disk. It ...
2
votes
0answers
19 views

What parameters determine whether galaxies colliding will result in a merger or a hit and run?

Colliding galaxies sometimes merge and sometimes pass through each other. Either way, there are huge changes as a result. What are the parameters that matter in determining whether a collision will ...