ISP 205 Lab 11 Discussion Questions

  1. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is falling into the Andromeda galaxy. Given what we have seen today, what will happen to our Galaxy when this occurs? Both Andromeda and the Milky Way are falling into the Virgo cluster of galaxies. What will happen then? Will these "collisions" likely affect our own star, the Sun?

  2. Discuss the size, separation and speed of typical galaxies. Knowing this, are collisions between galaxies important on the time scale of a human life? What about on the time scale of the entire human race? What about the main sequence lifetime of the Sun?

  3. The Milky Way Galaxy is "cannibalizing" a smaller galaxy called the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy. The event is taking place relatively close to us; however, for a long time, we did not know about it. Given what you know about Galactic structure, why might this be? How might the positions of the two galaxies be related to create these phenomena? Draw a picture on the board.

  4. How might you determine what part of a galaxy's redshift is caused by the galaxy's orbital motion about the center of mass of its cluster?