This page lists the total luminosity of the Milky Way (MW) Galaxy to be $4\times10^{10}$ $L_{\rm sol}$, and $L_{\rm sol}=3.86 \cdot 10^{33} {\rm ergs.sec}^{-1}$; this gives a total luminosity for the MW of $1.54\cdot 10^{44}{\rm ergs.sec}^{-1}$.

But Seyfert galaxies can have luminosities of $\sim 10^{40} - 10^{42}{\rm ergs.sec}^{-1}$, and this is due to the high luminosity of the galactic core of a Seyfert.

Since the MW doesn't have an active SMBH, does this mean that the MW is particularly bright due to a high luminosity stellar population? Or am I missing something?

  • $\begingroup$ Seyferts can easily be as or more luminous than the Milky Way. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Apr 9 '19 at 7:20
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I know, and that's my point; shouldn't the MW be less luminous than Seyferts? Sorry if I didn't make that clear. $\endgroup$
    – Jim421616
    Apr 9 '19 at 10:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So what you may have missed is a reliable source of Seyfert luminosities, since I don't recognise your range. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Apr 9 '19 at 12:30
  • $\begingroup$ Wikipedia says that "Seyfert galaxies [...] luminosities ranging between $10^8$ and $10^{11}$ solar luminosities." not quite the range stated in the question - what am I missing? $\endgroup$
    – B--rian
    Apr 15 at 10:50

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