Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Does nightime sky face outer or inner galaxy?

  1. Jun 21, 2005 #1
    I recently came across an arguement that stated that Earth's nighttime view pretty much always faces the outer rim of our galaxy, while the day time view is facing right towards the center, which of course we dont see due to sunlight. There was refrenced a few indian tribes in s.america who trek toward the top of the andes mountains in the winter where the earth briefy turns center enough just to see galactic center totally naked.

    I am not an astronomer, but I was under the impression that galactic center is somewhere around Sagitarius.

    What part of our galaxy to we see at nightime?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2005 #2

    Integral

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It depends upon the season. We are continual revolving around the sun so every month the sun has apparently moved to a different place in the sky. This is the zodiac, and when they say that the sun is in one of the constellations of the zodiac that means we are not able to see the stars in that section of the sky. We are able to look at the section of the sky which contains the center of the galaxy with regularity. It is my understanding that the center of the galaxy is blocked from view by intervening dust clouds.
     
  4. Jun 21, 2005 #3

    Garth

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Look along the Milky Way; you are looking at the plane of the galactic disc.
    Look in the direction of Sagittarius; you are facing the centre of the galaxy.
    Look in the direction of Cassiopeia; you are facing the outer rim of the galaxy.

    Garth
     
  5. Jun 21, 2005 #4

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You can see the center of the galaxy in the constellation Sagittarius. Sagittarius is visible from the northern hemisphere in the summer months. It's at about -40 degrees declination, which means that it's visible at some time of the year to everyone south of 40 degrees north latitude. Sagittarius is home to the densest part of the milky way, the band of star clouds that marks the plane of the galaxy in our skies.

    - Warren
     
  6. Jun 21, 2005 #5

    Chronos

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award

    A minor correction, if I may [it's my perfectionist side emerging]. Anyone south of 50N can view the galactic center [which is at 40S] sometime during the year. It rises to a maximum of about 10 degrees above the horizon for an observer at 40N.
     
  7. Jun 22, 2005 #6

    Nereid

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Fortunate be those who live where the Milky Way bulge is at its zenith around midnight during the winter months, and for whom winter brings still, cloudless nights!

    Who are they, these fortunate ones?
     
  8. Jun 22, 2005 #7

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Might they be Kiwis? :rofl: I wish - i'm on the other end of the stick. :blushing:

    I get to see and photograph some pretty things, but I am envious of you.
     
  9. Jun 22, 2005 #8

    Chronos

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?