What is the distance to the nearest galaxy?

02.04.2013


 

Scientists have for the first time were able to measure the exact distance to the nearest galaxy from us. This dwarf galaxy known as the Large Magellanic Cloud. It is located away from us 163,000 light-years, or 49.97 kpc, to be exact.

Galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud slowly floating in outer space, bypassing our galaxy the Milky Way around just as the moon revolves around the earth.

Huge clouds of gas in the galaxy slowly dissipate, resulting in formation of new stars that illuminate its light interstellar space, creating a bright colorful cosmic landscapes. These landscapes are able to photograph the space telescope "Hubble".

Small galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud includes the Tarantula Nebula — the brightest star in the cradle of the space next door to us — it has seen signs of the formation of new stars.

Scientists were able to do the calculations, watching the occasional close pairs of stars, known as eclipsing binaries. These pairs of stars gravitationally linked to each other, and when one of the stars obscures another observer as seen from the earth, decreasing the overall brightness of the system.

If you compare the brightness of stars, it is so incredible accuracy to calculate the exact distance to them.

Determining the exact distance to cosmic objects is very important for the understanding of the size and age of our universe. While the question remains: what is the size of our universe is just one of the scientists can not yet say.

Once the astronomers were able to achieve such precision in the definition of distances in space, they will be able to do and more distant objects and, ultimately, will be able to calculate the size of the universe.

Also, new opportunities will more accurately determine the rate of expansion of our universe, as well as more accurately calculate the Hubble constant. This factor was named after Edwin P. Hubble, the American astronomer who in 1929 proved that the universe is constantly expanding from the very beginning of its existence.

The distance between galaxies

Galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud — the nearest dwarf galaxy from us, and that's the size of a large galaxy — our neighbor is a spiral galaxy of Andromeda, which is from us at a distance of approximately 2.52 million light years.

The distance between our galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy are gradually declining. They approach each other at a speed of about 100-140 kilometers per second, although will meet very soon, to be exact, in 3-4 billion years.

Perhaps this is so it will look like the night sky to the ground observer in a few billion years

Distances between galaxies thus may vary at different stages of time because they are constantly in dynamics.

The scale of the universe

The visible universe has an incredible size diameter, which makes billions, and perhaps tens of billions of light years away. Many of the objects that we can see with telescopes, no longer exist or may look very different, because the light was going to have an incredibly long time.

This series of illustrations help you to submit at least in general terms the scope of our universe.

solar system with its largest objects (planets and dwarf planets)

Sun (center) and next to it star

Milky Way, indicating the group closest to the solar system solar systems

The next group of galaxies that includes more than 50 galaxies, the number of which is increasing as the discovery of new ones.

Local Supercluster of galaxies (Virgo supercluster). Size — about 200 million light-years

Group of superclusters of galaxies

The visible universe
 

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