Questions tagged [milky-way]

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

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58
votes
5answers
16k views

Does the Milky Way move through space?

Does our galaxy moves through space? Or does it stay in a single location? If it does move, what causes it to move?
44
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2answers
4k views

Does the sun cross other spiral arms in its movement around the galaxy's center?

Today, Ansa.it released an article that states: [...]. In questo suo peregrinare galattico, il Sole ha attraversato anche i due bracci della Via Lattea Perseo e Centauro. "Sono zone di alta ...
41
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3answers
10k views

Does the Milky Way orbit around anything?

We know most of the objects in the Universe have a spherical or elliptical shape. The object which has less mass and gravitational pull orbits around the nearest object with more mass and ...
31
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4answers
10k 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 Way,...
28
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2answers
4k views

Why does the 70-solar-mass black hole in the LB-1 system challenge current astrophysics?

Recently scientists discovered a large stellar-mass black hole, which (previously) they believed that it shouldn't be possible in our galaxy! Source An international team of scientists say they ...
25
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1answer
3k 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 due ...
24
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2answers
11k 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 ...
23
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6answers
26k 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 ...
19
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1answer
4k views

How far do we have to go to leave the galaxy?

How far is the sun from the edge of the galaxy in the following directions? Moving along the shortest path parallel to the galactic plane (outward radially) Moving along the longest path parallel to ...
18
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3answers
2k 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 ...
18
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2answers
6k 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 ...
18
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1answer
746 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 my knowledge about the lifecycle of a galaxy is very lacking. I was surprised that Wikipedia is so sparse on ...
18
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1answer
2k 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?
16
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3answers
2k 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 ...
16
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1answer
688 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?
15
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3answers
3k views

Which part of the milky way does the image show?

As a general question and more in specific regarding the image above: Which part of the milky way, planets, stars, clusters are included in the image? How can I know which entities are included in ...
15
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1answer
7k views

How many arms does the Milky Way galaxy have?

How many arms does the Milky Way galaxy have and how is it determined?
15
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1answer
877 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 ...
14
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3answers
960 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 ...
14
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2answers
2k 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 ...
12
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1answer
1k views

How strong is the force between the Sun and the centre of the Milky Way?

I know the Sun is orbiting around the Milky Way, but how strong is the attractive force between them (e.g. what is the order of magnitude in terms of newtons)?
12
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1answer
468 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?
11
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6answers
6k views

What will happen to the shape of a galaxy when a super massive black hole lying in its center dies(evaporates out)?

What's at the Center of the Milky Way? In this article it is said that a supermassive black hole lies in the center of milky way galaxy. At its center, surrounded by 200-400 billion stars and ...
11
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5answers
18k views

Is the Sun in our solar system moving or stationary?

When I was small, I read that Sun is fixed at the center of the solar system and that all the other planets rotate around it. But later I heard that even the Sun is not fixed; it moves. Is this true? ...
11
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2answers
6k views

Why don't we see “the milky way” in both directions?

We're (basically) in the middle of an arm of our galaxy. That is to say, we're sitting in the middle of a dense disc of stars. It would seem to me that. You should see: the thick line of the milky ...
11
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2answers
9k 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 ...
11
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1answer
905 views

Do we know if we are overtaking or falling behind our arm?

Here's our galaxy as best we know, courtesy of this Wikipedia article: It seems that as best we know, each arm is a compressed or brighter area (rather like a wave). Looking at that image, do we ...
11
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2answers
777 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 ...
11
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2answers
227 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 ...
10
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3answers
667 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, ...
10
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2answers
466 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 ...
10
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1answer
242 views

What would our night sky look like if the solar system was 100 light years from the centre of the Milky Way

When we look at photo's of the centre of the Milky Way, it looks extremely bright due to the concentraion of star systems... If our solar system was only 100 light years from the centre of the Galaxy,...
10
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1answer
4k 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 "arrive"...
10
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1answer
889 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 ...
9
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2answers
2k views

If galaxies are moving away from each other then why are the Milky Way 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 ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Who is Seyfert, and what is “the so-called Seyfert flare”?

The BBC's Milky Way's centre exploded 3.5 million years ago says: A cataclysmic energy flare ripped through our galaxy, the Milky Way, about 3.5 million years ago, a team of astronomers say. ...
9
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2answers
219 views

In what parts of the world is it impossible to view the night sky due to light pollution?

Growing up far from any city, I have always been able to view the full night sky. It was just the way how things were. Of course, I knew that light pollution is a thing, and that the sky is a lot less ...
9
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2answers
2k 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 ...
9
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2answers
310 views

Is it possible to figure out your location in the Milky Way if you are suddenly wormholed to a random, distant location in the galaxy?

If you were flying along in your spacecraft somewhere in our solar system and then a large, stable wormhole suddenly opened and you flew into it and were whisked away to some distant location in the ...
8
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1answer
2k views

What is the Galactic Latitude and Galactic Longitude? How is different from the latitude and longitude we use on Earth?

It has to something with the positioning of sun and galactic center of the milky way but I wasn't able to understand how for a given star, its co-ordinates are calculated. Some explanation would be ...
8
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3answers
398 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 ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Why the blank wedges in this very early 21 cm map of the Milky Way? (Oort et al. 1958)

Jan Oort was a pioneer in radio astronomy. Wikipedia says: It has been written that “Oort was probably the first astronomer to realize the importance” of radio astronomy. “In the days before radio ...
8
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2answers
482 views

Has the Milky Way collided with another galaxy?

Has the Milky Way ever collided with another galaxy? Or will the collision with Andromeda be our first?
8
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1answer
2k views

What are the chances of a star colliding with another during a galactic collision?

My specific example for the question is the future collision of the galaxies Milky Way (our own galaxy) and Andromeda in a couple billion years. The star in question is obviously the sun in this case. ...
8
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1answer
366 views

What is the shape (along the plane, not up-down) of stellar orbits in flat spiral galaxies

What I mean is, with a central mass orbits are relatively simple, but orbits around the galaxy are different, in essence as the star orbits through the dark matter halo, the further it moves away from ...
8
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2answers
296 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 ...
7
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2answers
602 views

What can we expect from the first accurate image of a black hole?

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
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3answers
246 views

Whereabouts of the Pleiades

I assume they should be in the Milky Way galaxy. I have read about it a little but did not find information on where they are. Which galaxy do the Pleiades belong to?
6
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3answers
1k views

Are the stars outside of the galactic plane in the galactic halo?

The majority of the stars we see in the sky, like Pollux, are outside of the galactic plane. That means that all those stars we see are not in the galactic disk, and therefore are in the galactic halo,...
6
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5answers
959 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 ...