what is a galaxy
November 13th, 2020

In the center of most galaxies resides a 'supermassive black hole'. They might have formed by to another galaxy flying straight through a spiral galaxy, but they are very rare and thus not too well studied. +47 22 80 98 90, Copenhagen: c/o Videnskab.dk, Carl Jacobsens Vej 16, Entr. Conversely, if the gas cools considerably (to around 100 degrees Kelvin, or –170 °C), very dense and cold molecular clouds are formed. Thus, what we see as a galaxy is in fact but a fraction of what a galaxy actually is. How these enigmatic clumps of stars, gas, dust, and dark matter were created in the first place is a longer story, which you’ll be able to read more about in a follow-up article here on ScienceNordic. There might be a few more here than there are there, but in general, the stars are distributed more or less evenly on the night sky. Some scientists think there could be as many as one hundred billion galaxies in the universe. In these regions, the gas is ionized, meaning that most atoms have had one or more electrons ripped off due to the high temperature. And if you were to point a telescope in the direction of this band, you'd see many many more stars. The collision itself as well as stellar winds and supernovae blow out the rest of the gas, so that the formation of new stars becomes hard. Elliptical galaxies are, we believe, the result of the merging of many smaller (proto-) galaxies. The name 'galaxy' is taken from the Greek word galaxia meaning milky, a reference to our own galaxy, the Milky Way. It’s a small part of the Milky Way Galaxy. We live on a planet called Earth that is part of our solar system. Recently, astronomers found the hitherto most distant of these strange galaxies with evidence of a cosmic 'hit-and-run' taking place 11 billion years ago. Gazing at the dark night sky, you see stars scattered in all directions. As late as last year, results from this astro-crowdsourcing led astronomers to revise our understanding of how the arms of spiral galaxies behave (see this video for a review). The Samsung Galaxy A series is a line of mid-range smartphones and tablets manufactured by Samsung Electronics as part of their Galaxy line. Gravity wise, their contribution is rather insignificant compared to the rest of the galaxy, but for a while, the black can generate an 'active galactic nucleus', or a quasar, which can blow out a substantial part of the galaxy’s matter from the galaxy. The first models in the series, the first-generation Samsung Galaxy A3 and A5, were introduced in December 2014 and released in March 2015. Since the discovery of the first planets outside our Solar System a mere 25 years ago, it has become apparent that most stars have planets. And there are also galaxies that aren’t spirals or ovals. Five or six things can be pointed out as the building block of galaxies: stars, gas, dust, super-massive black holes, dark matter and, perhaps, planets. These black holes can weigh millions or billions times the mass of the Sun (in astronomy everything is so massive that measuring stuff in grams or kilograms becomes impractical, so instead we use Solar masses, which is approximately the same as two billion billion trillion kilograms). The violent star formation can exhaust most of the gas in one go. Whereas the distance between stars inside a galaxy is typically a few lightyears, distances between galaxies are measured in millions of lightyears. Stars are made of gas, but between the stars — in the so-called interstellar medium — large amount of gas reside as well.

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