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How fast is our galaxy moving away from other galaxies?

How fast is our galaxy moving away from other galaxies?
Max, Class 7H, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Ashbourne from Derbyshire (Age 5-14)


9 Responses

  1. Great question!!!

    All galaxies are moving apart from each other at different speeds.

    This is because the universe started with the Big Bang when the whole universe exploded into existence and all the galaxies we see are still away from each other as a response to this explosion (except from our nearest neighbouring galaxies).

    When we astronomers look at different galaxies we can measure their speeds very accurately. We are able to tell that galaxies that are further away from us are moving at a faster speed away from us.

    Although I cannot tell you how fast our galaxy is moving away from ALL the other galaxies (because we are moving away from each of them at lots of DIFFERENT speeds), I can tell how fast we are moving away from some specific galaxies:

    Andromeda galaxy (Our nearest large neighbour): Moving towards each other at a speed of around 100km/s (225,000mph)

    NGC4151 (A nearby active galaxy): Moving away from us at 1000km/s (2,250,000mph)

    Most distant galaxies observed: Moving away from us at 580,000km/s (1,305,000,000mph). (This is faster than the speed of light and is a result of the shape of the universe!!!)

  2. Does anybody else see the obvious contradiction here?
    If all galaxies are moving away from each other then how can Andromeda be moving towards the Milky Way?

  3. I’m no astrophysicist, but I believe it’s because some galaxies get caught by one-another’s gravitational pull. For example there are at least two other galaxies thought to be in the process of merging with our own Milky Way galaxy right now. It’s a very, very slow process.

    Although they are both moving away from the Big Bang location or Center of the Universe, they can still move towards one-another like runners that are all running away from the starting line but can still bump eachother.

  4. ok!.How can someone think that universe is flat. Damn flat! Sounds familiar)

    The flat Earth model is a view that the Earth’s shape is a flat plane. This view contrasts with a view recorded around the 4th century BC by natural philosophers of Classical Greece that the Earth is spherical.

    Various cultures have had conceptions of a flat Earth, including ancient Babylon, Egypt, pre-Classical Greece and pre-17th century China

  5. To say that the most distant objects in are moving away from us beyond the speed of light implies there is an error in how we measure distance in the first place. Secondly the Shapely Supercluster is the great attractor in this region and is pulling all the Virgo cluster (us) toward it. Its hard to see where your going when your near the end of a string of galaxies but everyelse you look things are moving elsware. Not away. The universe is not expanding and not static it is in dynamic equlibrium just like every other fractle component within it-quasars, galaxies, stars, planets, organisms, cells, atoms and sub-atomic particules.

  6. I read in the paper the other day about a galaxy 10billion light years away and because we think that the universe is 13 billion years old they are watching the galaxy aged only 3billion years old. from what I have been told the universe is expanding(inflating) but slowing down. Basically i was hoping we had pin pointed the spot that could be regarded as the center of our universe and If we are/were traveling faster than the speed of light we would one day see the big bang and then watch our galaxy evolve traveling towards us until light catches up.

  7. Sorry, but I think you are all technically incorrect in one way or another.

    The age of the universe is 13.7 billion years (error margin of 2%).
    There is no centre to the universe.
    Spacetime is expanding.
    Sometimes galaxies collide for various reasons irrespective of the expanse of the Universe.
    Recently Scientists have determned that currently the Universe is still expanding and accelerating.
    Classical laws of physics do not apply to Galaxies appearing to be receding faster than the speed of light due to spacetime expansion.

  8. It is nearly impossible to pin point the centre of the universe. They think that the universes expansion is slowing down and then they have a theory that the universe is going to implode in on itself, crushing everything back to nothing again.

  9. Actually scientists have ascertained the expansion of the universe is speeding up.


    As for moving away from another object in space; while our galaxy may not actually be travelling faster than the speed of light, it is possible that the sum of our current velocity relative the opposite galaxy’s relative position, and the velocity of said galaxy in relation to our position could add up to more than the speed of light; i.e. while we don’t individually travel faster than light, the space in between us is growing faster than light can travel.

    One could only imagine that if this were the case that we would no longer be able to see the opposite galaxy, as the light from its stars wouldn’t be reaching us fast enough, but I’m not a scientist or a mathematician by trade so I couldn’t explain their findings without seeing source material.

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