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back to article KABOOOM! Space-faring dwarf's galactic pile-up snapped by X-ray boffins

Astronomers have spotted a huge collision between a plucky little dwarf galaxy and a massive spiral rival that goes by the snappy name of NGC 1232. NASA stargazers using the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory were alerted to the intergalactic pile-up after spotting a cloud of super-heated gas in the huge spiral galaxy, which is …

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3 million times

3 million times the diameter? Or 3 million times the volume?

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Childcatcher

Re: 3 million times

The cited source gives the region as area 7.25 kpc in diameter. A quick internet search reveals "The sun has a diameter of 865,000 miles (1.39 million km)." A second search reveals that 1 kpc = 3.08567758 × 10^16 kilometers. I will leave it to you to complete the exercise of converting kiloparsecs to a linguini or other unit of measurement of your choice and to work out whether this pertains to distance or volume.

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Re: 3 million times

Actually the relevant section of the NASA article is:

The mass of the entire gas cloud is uncertain because it cannot be determined from the two-dimensional image whether the hot gas is concentrated in a thin pancake or distributed over a large, spherical region. If the gas is a pancake, the mass is equivalent to forty thousand Suns. If it is spread out uniformly, the mass could be much larger, about three million times as massive as the Sun. This range agrees with values for dwarf galaxies in the Local Group containing the Milky Way.

So it's roughly 40,000 to 3,000,000 times the mass of our sun.

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Re: 3 million times

Thank you, O help[ful]mann!

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Re: 3 million times

And thank you, O [pportunity] Knox!

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Childcatcher

Re: 3 million times

There is always a question of what century NASA is in; they are supposed to be using SI units but here we see (Dr) Fahrenheit again.

Doh!

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What are these degrees Fahrenheit of which you speak? Is that like a cubit?

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@Chris Miller

No, it's like a Rankine, but on a human scale. HTH, HAND.

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Anonymous Coward

A Scientific Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit; WTF!

Shame on whoever used degrees Fahrenheit (NASA?); its temperature scale is quite stupid, so most Scientists us the more sensible degrees Centigrade or degrees Kelvin.

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Headmaster

DEGREES Kelvin?

There's no such thing as a DEGREE Kelvin!. It's an absolute scale, so it's just a KELVIN.

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Happy

Re: DEGREES Kelvin?

I went to university with a guy named Kelvin Digree, no joke. We teased him unmercifully about his existence.

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Re: A Scientific Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit; WTF!

No, not NASA - The Reg, for unknown reasons (its not the Reg's official unit, is it?). No astrophysicist, not even American or British, would use Fahrenheit unless Bradbury was involved.

I noticed, too, and I checked both the NASA blurb ("degrees", without specifying which, hence apparently centigrade/Kelvin), and the paper itself, which says 5.8MK. That, by the way, is more than 10M degrees Fahrenheit, thus a tad more impressive.

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Holmes

Re: A Scientific Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit; WTF!

Actually, Fahrenheit is a pretty good scale for everyday use. Zero is the point where the sea freezes (i.e. it's too cold to go out), and 100 is when you're a bit ill* (i.e. you'd better stay at home) . So, between 0 and 100 you can venture out, outside of that range it's best to stay at home.

* To be exact, 100F is the body temperature of Mr Fahrenheit's daughter, who happened to have a slight fever when he used her to calibrate his thermometer.

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WTF?

So the Farenheit scale is basically based on a physics constant on one end, and on the point-in-time physiological state of a single human specimen at an unspecified stage of its evolution on the other ?

Why thank you, that remark has just nailed the entire Farenheit scale to the Pointless folder as far as I'm concerned.

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@Pascal Monett

But isn't Man the measure of all things (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protagoras)?

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Re: A Scientific Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit; WTF!

No, zero is not the point where the sea freezes (that's at about 271 K, or 21.4F). It appears no one knows why 0F is where it is, or why 100F is slightly above normal body temperature. Both points seem wholly arbitrary.

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Joke

Re: A Scientific Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit; WTF!

It is zero because from there you just have to count upwards! It would be really stupid if the scale started at 32 or something.

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I find it strange there isn't a corresponding gas cloud in the dwarf galaxy. You'd think the large mass / gravitational perturbation of the spiral galaxy would make up for the relative lack of gas in the dwarf's interstellar medium - but from the pics, that isn't the case.

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Happy

The dwarf galaxy doesn't do dairy; so it has little to no gas.

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Pint

IMO ...

It's proof that Epazote grows there, and the natives know how to use it :-)

Beer, because it's the only thing to use to wash down tonight's Yucatan based menu.

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Degrees etc

.I am a bit late to the degrees argument but persons of my (mature) years were educated when degrees Kelvin was the accepted terminology, the degree bit was dropped later to conform with other SI (spit!) unit nomenclature. When you have spent years writing degrees Kelvin remembering not to put degrees in there is difficult.

Rob

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