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Module 11 Questions – Mass of Galaxies

Module 11 Questions – Mass of Galaxies

This discussion will focus on Question 16, “Clusters of galaxies’ masses can be calculated from?” My choice was “velocities of galaxies in them, and their sizes, gravitational lensing of distant galaxies beyond the clusters, and temperature and size of the hot gas in the cluster.” Clusters of galaxies’ masses can be calculated through various methods. The rotational curve method involves calculating a galaxy’s mass by assessing the speed and distance at which stars within the galaxy orbit. When researchers measure the velocities of cluster galaxies and analyze their dynamics, valuable insights into the cluster’s mass are obtained. Combining galaxy positions, sizes, and velocities enables them to estimate the cluster’s mass. This method requires accurate data about the sizes of orbits in galaxies, which involves determining a galaxy’s distance and measuring orbital speeds, often by analyzing Doppler shifts in spectral lines. (Seeds & Backman, 2018).

The gravitational force exerted by a galaxy cluster can function as a cosmic lens, causing the light from more distant galaxies situated beyond the cluster to become distorted. By examining the extent of this lensing effect and the distortions observed in the shapes of background galaxies, it is possible to deduce the distribution of mass within the cluster. When measuring the temperature and spatial distribution of the intra-cluster medium and assuming hydrostatic equilibrium, one can estimate the total mass of the cluster. The methods are used together to get a more accurate and precise estimate of mass.

The module offers valuable insights into the social dynamics of galaxies within the universe. It provides a convenient way to assess one’s knowledge and explore galaxies comprehensively. Moreover, the questions help individuals delve into various aspects of the galaxy. This contributes to a deeper understanding of galactic formation, evolution, and interactions.


Seeds, M. A. & Backman, D. (2018). ASTRO 3: Introductory astronomy. Cengage Learning.


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Mass of Galaxies

Mass of Galaxies

Discuss one or more questions from Module 11 Questions and why you answered it the way you did.
Include other interesting remarks about the module


  • Each set of questions is titled with information, including the associated material.
  • The questions approximately follow the order of the topics in the lecture.
  • Open and use any interactive animation links preceding some questions.
  • Answer the specified questions associated with each lecture. Save the document and use it to study for the Module Quiz.

Clusters of galaxies’ masses can be calculated from. D

    1. Velocities of galaxies in them and their sizes.
    2. Gravitational lensing of distant galaxies beyond the clusters
    3. Temperature and size of the hot gas in the cluster
    4. All of A, B, C

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