Questions tagged [galactic-dynamics]

Questions regarding interactions between galaxies or between major parts of a galaxy.

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46
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2answers
1k views

Two species of dark matter?

At this point in time, evidence for the existence of dark matter has accumulated in many ways: it affects galactic rotation curves plays a major role in cosmology, and the evolution of structure in ...
24
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1answer
2k views

When will the number of stars be a maximum?

There are very roughly a "mole" of stars in the universe. Wikipedia quotes an estimate of $3 \times 10^{23}$ though the number is associated with some debate and uncertainly. I'd like to know if ...
19
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2answers
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Questions about spiral galaxy arms

I have 2 questions related to spiral galaxies. Firstly, how did the arms form? Why would the stars accumulate into those specific areas? And secondly, why are they still intact? The inner parts of ...
12
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1answer
295 views

Dark Flow: statistical limits on existence

Dark Flow has been thrown around as a term a lot lately, especially with the latest Planck results. New Scientist reported last year that it was now statistically improbable, but the paper by Atrio ...
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5answers
4k views

What mechanism causes oscillations of the solar system's orbit about the galactic plane?

In a recent paper (news release here) Lisa Randall and Matthew Reece propose that a dark matter disk coinciding with the galactic plane together with the solar system's oscillations through the ...
11
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1answer
325 views

Has the great Andromeda Galaxy ever collided with any galaxies?

We know that the Andromeda Galaxy is moving towards the Milky Way and vice versa, so there will be a collision. Because of the vast space between them, the stars as they are defined will not ...
10
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2answers
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What (actually) is the “ deprojected half-light radius” of this almost-all-dark-matter Galaxy?

The recent news of the Ultra Diffuse Galaxy (UDG) Dragonfly 44 is an excellent example of what could be termed 'observe different' thinking. The dragonfly telescope is noted not for the size of its ...
10
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2answers
382 views

Are there a lot of collisions between stars in the core of the galaxy?

I'm reading on Wikipedia about Halo Stars that orbit the center of the galaxy at a high inclination away from the plane of the Milky Way. It seems that at some point, these stars must dive back into ...
9
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1answer
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Could dark energy be negative gravity?

Main question: Could dark energy (the mysterious accelerating expansion of the universe) be explained by "negative gravity"? "Spin off" questions: Does antimatter have negative gravity? If ...
9
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1answer
183 views

Half of the Milky Way's baryonic mass is from other galaxies - when did this happen?

The recent Phys.org article Milky Way's origins are not what they seem explains the recent MNRAS article Anglés-Alcázar et al. 2017; The cosmic baryon cycle and galaxy mass assembly in the FIRE ...
9
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1answer
116 views

Do we live in a galactic bubble?

I have heard a certain statement, which can be summarized succinctly into "we live in a local bubble", implying that solar system is located in an intestrellar dust underdensity region. This region ...
8
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2answers
102 views

Do the orbits of satellite galaxies show the influence of dark matter?

I understand how galaxy rotation curves show the influence of dark matter, or something else that would produce similar behaviour, such as Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND). Do the orbits of ...
8
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1answer
590 views

Python 2D Jean Instability in Spiral Galaxy Simulation

I have ~1000 snapshots of a spiral galaxy simulation (from Molecular cloud perturbations t=0 to t>1Gyr. What I need to do is determine whether any position at any of the snapshot times meets criteria ...
7
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1answer
160 views

What is the characteristic time of the evaporation of the galaxies?

For a star, to leave its galaxy, it requires probably a 3-body near-collision at the edge of the galaxy. It is unlikely, but possible. And, if a star once somehow got the required velocity to escape ...
6
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2answers
96 views

Is the Astronomy community still concerned about the lumpyness of matter distribution in the universe?

A decade or so ago, when I was still a science undergrad, one of the open questions in astrophysics was to explain the uneven distribution of galaxies in the observable universe. That is, why did the ...
6
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1answer
573 views

Star density in- versus out- of the arms of the galactic pattern?

What is the density difference in our galaxy (or in a typical spiral), at A, B, C versus at a, b, c? Consider the yellow track. Do astronomers have a graph like this... ...which shows the shape of ...
5
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3answers
578 views

What happens to galaxies when they die?

Stars explode when they die and blast heavy elements into space. Do galaxies do the same thing?
5
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2answers
264 views

Age of the universe

A Galactic year is estimated to be around 250 million "terrestrial" years. That means there will be about 4 rotations per billion years. And age of the universe is estimated to be near 13.8 billion "...
5
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2answers
563 views

What are the arguments against the Feng and Gallo thin disk explanation of galactic rotation curves?

The well-known galaxy rotation problem is described here. Basically (as one moves outward from the galactic centre, $R$ increasing) the observed pattern of variation in orbital speed $V$ is very ...
5
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2answers
584 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 ...
5
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1answer
397 views

Is our central black hole actually at the CG of the galaxy?

It seems fairly certain there is a large black hole, about 25,000 ly from Earth roughly in the center of our galaxy, in the direction of the Sag. A radio source. • In fact, is it thought to be ...
5
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1answer
85 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 ...
4
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2answers
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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
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1answer
438 views

Stellar systems: what is the difference between virial, dynamical and thermodynamic equilibrium?

I'm currently going through Binney & Tremaine (2008) on my own to learn about stellar dynamics. I also have been perusing additional online resources such as this scholarpedia wiki. Often when ...
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2answers
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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
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1answer
226 views

Why don't globular clusters flatten with a galactic disc?

Globular clusters lie in the galactic halo, outside of the disc. However, galaxies are more or less a collection of material and objects — why is it, then, that most stars form a plane due to the ...
3
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1answer
70 views

Supergalactic and Equatorial coordinates

What's the difference between Supergalactic and Equatorial coordinates?
3
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1answer
279 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
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1answer
767 views

What is $v_{GSR}$

In this paper ("The Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment: First Detection of High Velocity Milky Way Bar Stars") they plot and calculate $v_{GSR}$. $GSR$ stands for Galactic Standard ...
3
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1answer
77 views

What's so interesting about Coma-type galaxy clusters?

When the dynamical mass of a proto-cluster of galaxies is ~(1-2)x1014 Msolar, the proto-cluster is expected to evolve into a coma-type cluster. In almost every paper I read about the confirmation of ...
3
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2answers
108 views

Does the Abell 1689 supercluster have angular momentum?

The Abell 1689 is a large group of galaxies, containing a lot of elliptical galaxies : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abell_1689 Usually, an elliptical galaxy don't have large angular momentum around ...
3
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0answers
80 views

How do two supermassive black holes reach “the last parsec” in merging galaxies?

This answer to Why can't supermassive black holes merge? (or can they?) describes the barrier to merging that two supermassive black holes face when two galaxies are in the process of merging or have "...
3
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1answer
78 views

Exploiting symmetry in the axisymmetric Jeans equations

I'm solving the axisymmetric Jeans equations to determine the initial conditions for an exponential disk inside an NFW halo. The density profiles of the two components are \begin{equation} \rho_d(R,z)...
2
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1answer
143 views

More recent data and simulations of “Milkomeda”, the collision of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies?

The Space.com headline Hubble Telescope Spots Two Galaxies in a Doomed (but Dazzling) Dance; The galaxies will ultimately crash into each other was probably overstated as seems to be policy in some ...
2
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1answer
119 views

Why does the neutral hydrogen velocity have this characteristic behavior in the galactic plane?

The recently released map of galactic neutral hydrogen density and velocity is really beautiful. The work has been relased by the HI4PI collaboration (HI = neutral hydrogen, $4\pi$ = complete ...
2
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1answer
60 views

Could discoid galaxies be expanding?

I understand that astronomers once thought that the material in the disc of a galaxy was moving around the galactic centre (where most of the mass was thought to be) in roughly circular orbits. The ...
2
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1answer
46 views

Orphaned star systems and intergalactic travel (in fictional context)

Context: I'm looking for some authority on a particular idea that I brought up in regards to a new update brought out for a space travel sim game, Elite Dangerous The vessels in that game can travel ...
2
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1answer
83 views

Can the gravitational potential in a spiral galaxy be positive?

Thinking about this question I wanted to start with a rough model of the average gravitational potential of the Milky way. I ran across D. P. Cox and G. C. Gomez 2002 Analytical Expressions for Spiral ...
2
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1answer
105 views

Examples of astrophysical objects NOT in virial equilibrium?

Astronomers always talk about astrophysical objects being in virial equilibrium (e.g., a stellar system, or a disk of gas within a galaxy, etc.). But I never hear about thermodynamical equilibrium. ...
2
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1answer
281 views

Direction of Earth’s poles relative to the Sun’s movement around the Galaxy

The plane of the solar system is at 63 degrees to the plane of the galaxy, then either the North or South Pole of Earth would be on the ‘leading edge,’ i.e. pointing roughly in the direction of ...
2
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1answer
71 views

Is diffuse energy distribution considered in the galaxy rotation curve explanations?

Problem number 23 in chapter 1 of Purcell's "Electricity and Magnetism" Second edition page 37 shows that 90% of the energy stored in the electrostatic field of a spherical charge distribution of ...
2
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1answer
53 views

What has GAIA found out about the dwarf galaxy heritage of stars in the Milky Way, if anything?

I ran across the image below in the August 2000 ESA Bulletin # 103 GAIA – Unravelling the Origin and Evolution of Our Galaxy Figure 3. This simulation shows how a galaxy halo, like our own, may ...
2
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1answer
129 views

Is it possible to define a state of zero absolute angular momentum anywhere in the universe?

Conservation of angular momentum doesn't seem correct to me. I think this because radiation is present everywhere, no space is completely void, and no object perfect. Thus all objects will have uneven ...
2
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1answer
26 views

Strip Brightness in a Spherical System

My question concerns the following problem, published in Galactic Dynamics by Binney and Tremaine and based on a work by Schwarzschild. Specifically, I am having difficulties in deriving the given ...
2
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0answers
48 views

Galactic rotation speeds - questions from a non-astronomer

Are there any observations that more distant galaxies appear to rotate more slowly than closer galaxies? What methods are used to measure the rotational speed of galaxies? (both orbital speed ...
2
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1answer
98 views

What will the mass of the new galaxy be?

When the Milky Way galaxy collides with the Andromeda galaxy, what will the mass and volume of the new galaxy be?
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1answer
141 views

How do galaxies move in space?

Kind of like a shower thought just occurred to me. We've all seen lots of animation about spiral galaxies, how they crash... in virtually all of them, I recall they move in a frisbee way, that is ...
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1answer
76 views

Galaxy interactions

What causes galaxies to merge, rather than orbit indefinitely?
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1answer
44 views

How do disk-shaped galaxies then form at the sites of spherical galactic halos? Do the halo stars start orbiting or just sit in place?

Phys.org's Astronomers detect large amounts of oxygen in ancient star's atmosphere mentions "Stars like J0815+4729 are referred to as halo stars," explained UC San Diego astrophysicist Adam ...
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1answer
82 views

Dynamical modelling of galaxies with counter-rotating components using the Schwarzschild method

I am currently trying to understand dynamical modelling using Schwarzschild's method. I have been doing some reading the past days, but I suspect that I am getting something really wrong. According to ...