Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Densest Galaxy
Posted on 10/05/2013 6:46:19 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: The bright core and outer reaches of giant elliptical galaxy M60 (NGC 4649) loom large at the upper left of this sharp close-up from the Hubble Space Telescope. Some 54 million light-years away and 120,000 light-years across, M60 is one of the largest galaxies in the nearby Virgo Cluster. In cosmic contrast, the small, round smudge at picture center is now recognized as an ultra-compact dwarf galaxy. Cataloged as M60-UCD1, it may well be the densest galaxy in the nearby universe. Concentrating half of its total mass of 200 million suns into a radius of only 80 light-years, stars in the inner regions of M60-UCD1 are on average 25 times closer together than in planet Earth's neighborhood of the Milky Way. Exploring the nature of M60-UCD1, astronomers are trying to determine if ultra-compact dwarf galaxies are the central remnants of larger galaxies that have been tidally stripped by gravitatonal encounters, or evolved as massive globular star clusters. Recently discovered, a bright X-ray source seen at its center could be due to a supermassive black hole. If so, that would favor a remnant galaxy origin for M60-UCD1.
(Excerpt) Read more at asterisk.apod.com ...
I was about to ask how you got to APOD because I haven’t been able to access it since Monday.
Thank you for the info.
This is great! Missed APOD. Glad we worked around the government.
Never a night sky for many planets there.
My math skills may be rough, but if (1) the spherical dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1 has a radius of only 80 light-years, and (2) yet contains 200 million suns, that seems to indicate (3) that on average you will find one star in each 100,000 cubic miles (NOT light years, MILES) of space in this galaxy. At that rate, the interstellar distances would be comparable to the asteroid belt’s objects.
Too nutty to be right. Can someone else check these assumptions?
Although insignificant in galactic scale, 80 light years is quite a volume. I rounded a light year to 6 trillion miles.
But wow it if life is there they must be nearly blind heh.
Yes, but is it denser than the democrat party?
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