Questions tagged [milky-way]

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

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26
votes
2answers
12k 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
28k 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
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1answer
287 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
3k 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. ...
10
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1answer
1k 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 ...
6
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1answer
191 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 ...
9
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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 ...
32
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4answers
12k 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,...
9
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2answers
351 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
3k 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 ...
14
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3answers
1k 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
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1answer
5k 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"...
15
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1answer
980 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
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1answer
430 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 ...
5
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1answer
191 views

Is there a retrograde star that passes closer to the galactic center than our Sun?

Our Sun is moving in a prograde orbit around the galactic center with a distance of about 8 kpc. This paper says there are many retrograde stars in the galactic halo 10-20 kpc from the galactic ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Is it true that we see the center of the milky-way for only half of the year?

I'm not an astronomer, please excuse my non-formal language. Since we are located in one of the arms of the Milky way, the center of the galaxy should be in one direction from our location, while in ...
17
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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
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1answer
500 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
281 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
3k 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 ...
7
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2answers
1k 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
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3answers
365 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-...
6
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3answers
4k views

Milky Way position on the sky

I'm looking for some sort of boundary data to be able to render the milky way on a star map, as visible from Earth. Something that looks like this: For that, I need something like a collection of RA ...
4
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0answers
136 views

How far have stars been seen beyond the center of the Milky Way?

What lies near the center of the galaxy is of great interest and in recent times the motion of dozen(s) of stars at the center of our galaxy orbiting around Sgr A* have been measured in great detail. ...
3
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1answer
155 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
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1answer
137 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
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2answers
119 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 ...
1
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1answer
234 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 ...
1
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2answers
388 views

Where is the center of the Milky Way located?

I have downloaded a star database from this page (The HYG Database): http://astronexus.com/node/34 And all the stars have (among other parameters) their XYZ coordinates in parsecs according to this ...
0
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1answer
4k 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:...
62
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5answers
18k 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?
36
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2answers
4k views

Are there any stars that orbit perpendicular to the Milky Way's galactic plane?

Most stars orbit in the Milky Way's galactic disc. But is it possible for one to orbit perpendicular to it? Here on Earth since we're inside the galactic plane we can't get a good view of what the ...
9
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2answers
256 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
820 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
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2answers
3k 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 ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Why does the closest approach of star S2 to Sgr A* not appear to be near the focus of its elliptical orbit?

Phys.org's Very Large Telescope sees star dance around supermassive black hole, proves Einstein right links to several ESO videos, including The star S2 makes a close approach to the black hole at the ...
11
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1answer
933 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
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4answers
647 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
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3answers
3k 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 ...
22
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1answer
2k views

Do the axes of rotation of most stars in the Milky Way align reasonably closely with the axis of galactic rotation?

The axis of rotation of the Solar System makes a large angle of about 60 degrees relative to the axis of rotation of the Milky Way. That seems unusual - for example, most of the bodies within the ...
18
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3answers
3k 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 ...
8
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1answer
757 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 ...
8
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2answers
631 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 ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Is the Sun prograde or retrograde with respect to the rotation of the Milky Way?

I recently learned about the terms prograde and retrograde. I've seen these terms used to describe the rotations and orbits of moons with respect to their planet, and planets with respect to their ...
7
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1answer
226 views

Why doesn't the black hole in the center of the Milky Way glow similarly to the famous M87 image?

The M87 image made some astronomers famous recently as the first image of a black hole. In the Milky Way, it has been concluded that there must be a black hole due to the movement of stars near the ...
6
votes
1answer
391 views

Forms of stellar orbits around the galactic center

Do all stars in orbit around Sagittarius A have approximately circular orbits or are there stars that orbit the Milky Way center very elliptically, like being in the Milky Way's outer rim at apoapsis ...
5
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3answers
955 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
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2answers
514 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
283 views

Apparent magnitude of Milky Way?

We have apparent magnitude of stars, planets, DSOs. What about the apparent magnitude of Milky Way? Can it be estimated?
3
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2answers
326 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 ...