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  ScottW

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Posted: 2004-September-01 at 7:09pm | IP Logged Quote ScottW

I recently finished watching a special on the Science Channel about super massive black holes at the center of all galaxies.

While the Milky Way's black hole is not currently feeding, it seems that some of them are, which result in a quasar (a super-heated disc of gas) at the center of the galaxy and giant gas jets spewing forth.

Which got me to thinking - if you were on a planet in one of these active galaxies, and facing the galactic core, what would the night sky look like?  How bright would it be?  Granted, you'd be tens of thousands of light years away at the edge of the galaxy, but I imagine it would still be quite a show.

So, get to work, and share your interpretations.  Mine is on the way. 

-Scott



Edited by ScottW
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  Dinyctis

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Posted: 2004-September-01 at 8:33pm | IP Logged Quote Dinyctis

you would see a huuuuuge white stripe in the night sky

As of now, we see a huge white stripe, but covered by the darkness of some of the arms.  This gives it the look of spilled milk, and that is why our galaxy is called the Milky Way.  Of course, most galaxies look like that, but the Romans didnt know that.

Now, if you were close to the center to the galaxy so that you wouldnt  have the massive light blocked out by the arms, then you would have a huge white stripe going across the sky.

This of course, considering that you weren't in a city or any other places with high levels of light pollution.

However, all of this would happen if the planet was facing towards the center of the galaxy.  And depending on where on the planet one is actually looking at the sky

Obviously, this white stripe would have a slight bulge at the center, but barely noticeable.

And its called Quasar


Edited by Dinyctis


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  ScottW

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Posted: 2004-September-01 at 8:49pm | IP Logged Quote ScottW

Check my spelling again, Captian Smarty-Pants...and no, I didn't go and change the spelling after reading your post.  (In seriousness, thanks for ponting that out - sometimes my fingers work faster than my brain.)

I realize that the galactic dust blocks most of the light from galaxies like our own - where the black hole at the center isn't feeding - but in an active galaxy, where the black hole is swallowing intense amounts of gas and dust and super-heating massive amounts of gas and dust swirling around it, the light would be intense.  Much brighter than a supernova, and those are visible from earth in other galaxies.  At the very least, the jets would be visible.

Besides, your planet doesn't have to be at the edge of the galaxy, it can be closer to the center.  I just thought it would be an interesting exercise.

 

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  Dinyctis

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Posted: 2004-September-01 at 9:54pm | IP Logged Quote Dinyctis

You gotta take a few things into account.

The pictures of galaxies that you see on the internet, be it from the hubble or any other telescope, is nothing but the result of the "lens" being open for a loooooong time.  Some galaxy pictures are the results of lenses being open for 6 hours. 

Why? because the longer the shutter is open, the more photons it catches, and thus the more detail.  So the pictures of galaxies with amazingly bright centers look like that because the shutter was left open for a long time.  Hell, they have to, because they are too far away, and a simple snapshot would just capture a white spec.  Therefore, you would be able to see quite some detail if you held any lens open, but even then, there are more things to consider.

1) You wouldn't be able to see jets.  Maybe you'd see something really faint, but you probably wouldn't see it, especially if you're sitting at the edge of the galaxy.  Why? because galaxies are rather flat and have just a few thousand light years of height.  So, with all of the galactic dust in the way, you would not see these jets if you were at the edge of the galaxy.  It might look just like the milky way, but perhaps a bit brighter, with a bulge in the middle, assuming that you were facing towards the center.

It would be an interesting exercise, for the now generic terragen/space mix, or photography with top extended and space stuff over it.



Edited by Dinyctis


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  Asmodeus

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Posted: 2005-September-01 at 6:34am | IP Logged Quote Asmodeus

it's called the milkway beacuse galaxy is the greek word for milk, but i suspose you could say that it does have a spilled milk look


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  Asmodeus

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Posted: 2005-October-22 at 4:00pm | IP Logged Quote Asmodeus

further to new updates about the surrounding of sagitarrius a*, our black hole is surrounded by young stars and very large ones


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