Questions tagged [milky-way]

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

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24
votes
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
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
277 views

Collision with Andromeda Galaxy

According to Hubble's law, the universe is expanding and this expansion is proportional to distance between the two objects and thus objects are moving away at a very fast rate, then why is it ...
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. ...
9
votes
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 ...
31
votes
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,...
10
votes
1answer
893 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
965 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 ...
10
votes
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"...
6
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1answer
163 views

How was the galactic plane established?

As pointed out in this answer the axes of galactic coordinates are defined such that galactic longitude and latitude (0, 0) point toward the galactic center. But then the plane defined by galactic ...
15
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1answer
883 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 ...
8
votes
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
votes
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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
469 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?
5
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1answer
273 views

Do most astronomers think that Andromeda will collide with Milky Way?

Most astronomers say it is likely to happen. Is this true? Are there any scientists that reject this?
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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
319 views

How is the Milky Way on a collision course with Andromeda when the universe is expanding? [duplicate]

At some time in the future it is said our galaxy will collide with Andromeda. Yet at the same time the universe is expanding at a ever-accelerating pace. Using the old raisin-in-the-baking-loaf-of-...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

In which direction does the Milky Way rotate?

We don't have a photo of our Milky Way the whole, all the pictures are artists' interpretations showing a bulge, a central bar, and several spiral arms. The milky way is spinning. I would like to know:...
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?
9
votes
2answers
221 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
811 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?
14
votes
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
906 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
610 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I see the milky way?

I've travelled to farms at night, and away from civilation. I don't really know alot about astronomy, but my goal is to see something like this: Stars, lots of them, but that "thick purple cluster of ...
18
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
604 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
votes
2answers
402 views

In which direction does the ecliptic plane make an angle of 60 degrees with galactic plane?

In which direction does the ecliptic plane make an angle of 60 degrees with galactic plane? Is it toward the galactic center? (It can have any 360 degree orientation.)
6
votes
1answer
672 views

How did the object CO-0.40-0.22 get its name, and how is it distinct from CO-0.40-0.22*?

There seems to be three things described in the recent Nature Astronomy paper Millimetre-wave emission from an intermediate-mass black hole candidate in the Milky Way: Molecular cloud CO–0.40–0.22 ...
5
votes
3answers
834 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?
5
votes
2answers
374 views

Can we see the stars at the edge of the Milkyway?

This question proved much more difficult to formulate than I initially imagined. It concerns how far out in the Milky Way that we actually see with different telescopes. I know the Milky Way disk is ...
3
votes
2answers
312 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
97 views

How did they measure the distance to the center of our galaxy to 0.3% accuracy?

The abstract of A geometric distance measurement to the Galactic center black hole with 0.3% uncertainty (Open Access) says: We present a 0.16% precise and 0.27% accurate determination of R₀, the ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

How did they estimate the mass of Sgr A*'s companion G2 without knowing what it was?

Gizmodo.com's Astronomers Spot Unprecedented Flashes From Our Galaxy's Black Hole mentions Sgr A*'s companion gas cloud G2. That Wikipedia article says: First noticed as something unusual in ...
2
votes
2answers
619 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? http://science.psu.edu/alert/images/SDSSmetals.jpg/...
2
votes
1answer
122 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
votes
2answers
105 views

visualisation of galaxy density

If I had a long stick that was millions of light years long, and with a width of about the Sun, and I then swiped it through the center of the milky way galaxy, what would the probability be of me ...
-2
votes
1answer
157 views

From what distance will be able to see milky way and andromeda collision? [closed]

Considering that we would out of Milky Way, at what distance would a human will be able to see the collision with naked eye and and how fast would the galaxies appear to be approaching each other