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General Astronomy Questions - Assignment Example

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The author answers the questions concerning the general astronomy. The author describes how Edwin Hubble proved that M31 is not a nebula in our Milky Way Galaxy and answers why astronomers believe that vast quantities of dark matter surround our Galaxy…
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Download file to see previous pages Thanks to this work, Hubble knew that he could use the characteristics of the fluctuating light of Cepheid variable stars to help him calculate the distance to M31. His observations of Type I Cepheids led him to determine that M31 is some 2.2 million lightyears beyond the Milky Way. This proves that M31 is not an open or globular cluster in our Galaxy, but rather an enormous separate stellar system—a separate galaxy.
According to Kepler’s third law, the farther a star or cloud is from the center of the Milky Way, the slower it should be moving, just as the orbital speeds of the planets decrease with increasing distance from the Sun. Observations reveal, however, that galactic orbital speeds continue to climb well beyond the visible edge of the galactic disk (The Galaxy’s Rotation Curve is remarkably flat out to surprisingly great distances from the galaxy’s center). This means there must be a more gravitational force from the Galaxy acting on the distant stars and clouds that we can see or have taken into account.
All galaxies have their own motion relative to each other due to their mutual gravitational force. For nearby galaxies, the speed of the Hubble flow is smaller than these intrinsic velocities. Hence, some of the nearest galaxies are actually approaching us and have blueshifts instead of redshifts.
For example, if a source is observed to vary its light output substantially over a period of a week, this implies that the spatial extent of the energy producing region can be no larger than the distance light can travel in a week (Ewert, 2013).
The redshift that Hubble observed, caused by the expansion of the universe, is properly called the cosmological redshift. In other words, the photons that we observe from galaxies in other superclusters are all redshifted because space is expanding.
The Doppler redshift results from the relative motion of the light emitting object and the observer. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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