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Space Science

Speed Found to be Key to Galaxy Formation 61

QuantumCrypto writes "The All-wavelength Extended Groth strip International Survey (AEGIS), a collaborative effort involving nearly 100 scientists in half a dozen countries, revealed a new principle in the formation of all galaxies, from disk-like spirals, cloud-like ellipticals, and just irregulars. In essence the morphology of the galaxies depends on total mass involved and the internal speed it generates. 'By defining a new speed indicator, their analysis has managed to make sense out of very chaotic-looking objects,' said Sandra Faber, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz."
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Speed Found to be Key to Galaxy Formation

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  • Simulations (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Friday March 09, 2007 @05:01AM (#18286786) Journal
    It would be interesting to see some simulations and animations of rotating spiral galaxies. We could never see that with actual galaxies because they move too slow from our perspective. A simulation will both test to see how accurate their models fit the real thing, and allow us to study how rotation works and spiral arms keep from winding "tighter", as it would otherwise seam. Maybe they could hilight a few reference stars so we can see how they move relative to the spiral arms. As an amature space artist, the movement of the arms relative to stars is a curious wonder that I cannot really visualize yet.
  • by vbwyrde ( 1047816 ) on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:04AM (#18287708)
    I am to understand that our Galaxy rotates on its axis once ever 250 million years or so. If that is right, and the universe is 13 or 14 billion years old, then it would seem that we get this: age of Universe = 13,000,000,000 Years for one rotation of galaxy = 250,000,000 Total Rotations = age / rotation 52 Total Rotations since Universe began? First, is that about right? Second, if that is right then my question is how do galaxies obtain their distinctive shapes after such few rotations? I ask because the ratio of turns to shapes (especially in the case of bar galaxies, and other sharply defined shapes) seems counter intuitive to me.

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