Are the spiral arms of a spiral galaxy visible?

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Offline hihello

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Are the spiral arms of a spiral galaxy visible?
« on: 25/10/2009 08:16:42 »
hi i was just wondering,

 When can you see the spiral arms of a spiral galaxy?

i always thought that you can see it form any direction but i also heard that you can see it when some or all of its face is pointed towards us
 or when its edge is pointed towards us but im not too sure...


[MOD EDIT - PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU PHRASE YOUR THREAD-TITLES AS QUESTIONS, WHICH IS OUR FORUM POLICY. THANKS. CHRIS]
« Last Edit: 31/10/2009 22:00:56 by chris »

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Offline LeeE

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Re: Are the spiral arms of a spiral galaxy visible?
« Reply #1 on: 25/10/2009 12:38:07 »
When I tried the google link it didn't show any edge-on spirals, so here's one of NGC891, courtesy of nasa:



As you can see, you can't see any spiral arms.  Actually, this one has been hypothesised to have a central bar, rather than the more 'normal' spiral arms.  It does nicely show up the dust though.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline GlentoranMark

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Re: Are the spiral arms of a spiral galaxy visible?
« Reply #2 on: 31/10/2009 15:18:27 »
Why not try some real science and see if you can spot a spiral galaxy?

http://www.galaxyzoo.org/ [nofollow]

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Offline LeeE

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Re: Are the spiral arms of a spiral galaxy visible?
« Reply #3 on: 31/10/2009 21:20:55 »
Lol - I did Galaxy Zoo for a while, until I realised what a huge time-drain it had become.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline GlentoranMark

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Are the spiral arms of a spiral galaxy visible?
« Reply #4 on: 01/11/2009 01:57:34 »
Its an addictive site but a worthwhile cause  [:)]