Friday, June 01, 2012

They see the future

Here's something for future generations to look forward to: When Galaxies Collide:
Earth’s home, the Milky Way Galaxy, will collide with a nearby galaxy called Andromeda in 4 billion years, according to new observations made using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope announced Thursday.

“Our findings are statistically consistent with a head-on collision between the Andromeda galaxy and our Milky Way galaxy,” said Roeland van der Marel of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, in a press release.
Good news is, no death and destruction:
The great galactic union isn’t expected to result in the destruction of Earth, the Sun, or any other planet in the solar system. In fact, no stars whatsoever are expected to collide becauase they are so far apart within each system.

But because the Milky Way is flatter than Andromeda, when the two spiral-shaped galaxies collide, they’ll form a single new elliptical-shaped galaxy that is more “three dimensional” in shape, with the merging complete 6 billion years from now.

During the course of the collision and merging, Earth’s Sun, and our entire solar system, will be flung from its current position to a new position on the outer edge of the new galaxy.
More photos and a computer animation at the link. The night sky is going to look a whole different in 4 billion years.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]


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