back to article Giant hydrogen cloud menaces Milky Way

A giant cloud of hydrogen gas dubbed "Smith's Cloud" which contains enough gas to create a million stars like our own sun is on a collision course with the Milky Way, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) has announced. Smith's Cloud. Image: Bill Saxton, NRAO There is, however, no need to alert Bruce Willis quite yet …

COMMENTS

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Ian
Coat

ha!

Maybe by then hydrogen will be a viable alternative fuel source :D

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when it gets close

Put a match to it, it'll go bang and turn to rain.

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Coat

No need for Nukular (!) reactors.

All hail the one and true Bob. Our prayers have been answered. No more energy crises. Stuff you Putin.

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Boffin

Re:when it gets close

@Matthew,

How do you expect to breathe once the explosive reaction turned all our O2 to H2O ?

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Happy

Phew...

Looking at that artist's impression, i'm now *so* glad i chose to live in the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy.

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luckily, we know what to do

Duck and cover

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I for one, welcome our new gaseous overlord.

All your stars is belong to us.

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Alien

And in 39 Million, 999.999 years...

The newly opened Milliways opens for business..

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Coat

And in 39 Million, 999.999 years...

erm

"Newly built" even...

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Black Helicopters

New Threat

In the face of this new, serious and imminent threat, the only solution is to embed every citizen with RFID chips, block all but government sanctioned websites, and enforce compulsory anal probing in the workplace!

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RE: Re:when it gets close

@AC

He doesn't, he won't be alive (nor give a shit) in 40 million years duh

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Silver badge
Go

NASA will spring to action

By launching a fleet of space shuttles to outer space with special collectors to extract the hydrogen from space and return it to earth where it will be used to fill a fleet of Hindenburg-style airships that will replace all those ozone-depleting, greenhouse gas-spewing airliners. These airships will cut travel time between New York and London to 4 days for the minimal cost of $10,000 for a coach ticket (plus another $10,000 for a $20,000 accidental death travel policy).

Factoring in the fully laden cost of the shuttle and collection gear, the price per ton of delivered extraterrestrial hydrogen will be about $5 million per ton.

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Pirate

Ummmm.....

Does that "40 million years" account for light speed?

If it's 8000 ly away, that means we're seening it as is was 8000 years ago. That means it's actually 1681920000 miles closer to us than it appears.

That means it's actually 0.0002 light years closer than we thought! Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh! Run away!

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ian
Bronze badge
Boffin

Oh no!

40 million years you say? Thank God, I thought you said 4 million years. What a relief.

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Alien

I know where this cloud is coming from ...

... all those spams we sent out back in the '90s are finally reaping their just rewards!

From: homo.s@earth.sol.milkyway.uni

To: lurrr@8.omicronpersei.milkyway.uni,zbeeb1@5.betelgeuse.milkyway.uni,[..SNIP..]

Subject: ++HHHH++ MAKE HYDROGEN FAST ++HHHH++

This really works!

Just send 5*10^50 atoms of hydrogen to each of the five star systems listed below. Then, add your own system to the top of the list, delete the system at the bottom, and send out copies of this message to 100 other solar systems.

If you follow these instructions, within 0.25 of a galactic rotation you are guaranteed to receive enough hydrogen in return to power your civilization until entropy reaches its maximum!

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Jobs Halo

Black Cloud

What, no mention of Fred Hoyle's prediction - this cloud has intelligence, we must learn from it .....

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@Mitch Warner

FFS, think of your descendants! In around 40 Million years they'll be living on colony worlds right where that fucking great gas cloud is going to hit!

What, you don't think 32nd Century colonial real estate agents would knowingly sell property on worlds that are due to be clobbered a few million years down the track? Your faith in human nature is refreshingly naive. Sadly there are some human traits that are going to take more than a few million years to remove and the propensity for people to stoop to real estate, accountancy, marketing, taxation, antique dealing, merchant banking and the legal professions will be one of the hardest to breed out...

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Dead Vulture

Extra bits of space knowledge to take into account.

you sod

This concept awearness of how what was once seen as dark(at least in my head) can now be dangerous fills me with great confidence.

Especially when you consider thats just whats been observed.

Cheers you just found another one of those buttons fillied with aperthetic thoughts and that hang on a minute there ego attempt to explain to myself that wonderful religon that i will indeed go to the stars and be proud of my home world for quite sometime yet.

Damn those often rational aperthetic thoughts.

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Thumb Up

40 million years ....

... just time for one more bath then.

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