Galaxies and the Universe: Properties of the universe are revealed by the rotation of galaxies and their distribution in space

Science. 1970 Dec 25;170(3965):1363-70. doi: 10.1126/science.170.3965.1363.


A brief review is given of what the study of galaxies has taught us about properties of the universe. It is assumed that the universe started from a general "explosion," and that the general expansion observed today, as well as the 3 degrees K blackbody radiation, are consequences of this explosion. The present average density in the universe is probably close to the critical value of 10(-29) g/cm(3). Only about 3 percent of this is contained in galaxies; the rest consists probably of intergalactic gas at a temperature between 10(5) and 10(6) degrees K. Observations in our own galaxy indicate that this intergalactic gas is still flowing into it.