This is a galaxy

By Phil Plait | January 26, 2012 12:23 pm

I have nothing to add to this, except to say it’s great, and I saw it because Brian Cox mentioned it on Twitter.

Oh yeah: one more thing; watch it in HD and full screen. Coooool.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Humor, Science
MORE ABOUT: Brian Cox, galaxy

Comments (25)

Links to this Post

  1. Esto es una galaxia | January 28, 2012
  1. Brian

    Absolutely charming.

  2. Stathis Dimopoulos

    This video was an edit of material shown on Stargazing Live 2012. This show reminded us the “Brian Cox effect” (also mentioned here) . Telescope retailers in UK reported a 500% increase in sales as soon as the show ended.

  3. Cool indeed.
    And Brian Cox is cute even when he’s not on screen.

  4. Kappy

    How do we model dark matter if we aren’t sure what it is?

  5. Dutch Railroader


    We do not know what the particles are that make up dark matter, but we do know what their total mass is, and their “temperature,” which dictates how and when they cluster due to their self-gravity.

  6. Chris

    Somehow I expected an episode of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. A British accent always make it seem smarter.

  7. Crux Australis

    We know its distribution through space and how it affects visible and well-known objects like galaxies. This shows a model of those, not of what it actually is.

  8. Andrew

    Kappy: We know that the dark matter has mass, doesn’t whizz about too much (“cold” rather than “hot”) and doesn’t do much else apart from attracting anything else with mass – dark matter or baryonic matter – so it is relatively easy to add something to the models which is a bit like normal matter but which does not interact in other ways.

    But until we actually detect dark matter – a wimp or an axion or a string thing or something – it has to me a bit of the flavour of luminiferous aether or phlogiston. Everyone expects it to exist, but might not the implications be more interesting if it does not exist? MOND, or another theory of modified gravity, or worse?

  9. Tim

    Very nice! Nothing about sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha :(

  10. Can’t wait to get home to watch this. As a matter of fact, this is motivation to leave the office. ūüėÄ

  11. James

    I liked the use of the word “cheat” a sly nod to the climategate nonsense perhaps?

  12. TMB

    Awesome. I think I may need to inject this into my standard colloquium talk…

  13. db26

    Don’t you people have anything better to do?

  14. Mount

    Ok, this is Earth…

  15. Messier Tidy Upper

    Great clip there. :-)

    Except we not only can fly through galaxies we *are* flying through our Galaxy – we’re just doing that very slowly! (Relatively.) ūüėČ

    @10. Larian LeQuella : You need extra motivation for that!? ūüėČ

  16. MRUTTY

    Nice, but by the time I got to the end I was expecting something else.

  17. Well done. I always enjoy Brian Cox’s narration (but somehow it really annoys me when he says “methane”).

    There is a general consensus that Americans think a British accent makes people sound smarter. That may be true, but there is also a consensus that a New York accent makes them sound dumber. Those people have never listened to Mike Massimino.

  18. Michael

    If Brian Cox and Phil Plait both like it….then it MUST be good!

  19. Dave Grant

    That’s not actually Brian Cox narrating the video. It was featured, as Stathis Dimopoulos said on Stargazing Live 2012. I believe the narrator in the video, is the scientist from that episode, where he explained it live. I don’t know his name unfortunately.

  20. Richard Carnes

    Agreed. It didn’t sound like Cox at all, except for the accent of course.

  21. Simon

    the narrator is Andrew Pontzen, who also takes part in an excellent monthly astronomy podcast- Naked Astronomy, a spin off of the equally excellent weekly podcast Naked Scientists hosted by Chris Smith. I highly recommend both. Hadn’t seen this video though!

  22. db26
  23. WJM

    I maked you a galaxy. But I eated it.

  24. Missy

    This was used as one of the break time videos at the monthly All Space Considered talk at the Griffith Observatory last Friday ūüėÄ


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