The simulations look impressive
Where do I book my seat?
Observations from the Hubble telescope have shown that the Milky Way is on a high-speed collision course with the nearby Andromeda galaxy and the two will merge into a new elliptical system. Andromeda, also called M31, is about the same mass as the Earth's Milky Way and similar in form. Although it's 2.5 million light years …
Because even if there is still intelligent life left on Earth even in a billion years time, it wont be Homo Sapiens.
I'm always amazed when folks say "oh I wonder what the world will be like for humans in a million years time?"
Kind of dusty and museum like I reckon!
Humans will inherit the stars? Utter Cobblers!
Maybe a few Creationists around with their heads in the sand downvoting?
Which is doubly funny since most creationists don't count on humanity (or the world) being here much beyond the second comming (or was it the third?) which is supposedly real soon now.
Just the intellectually stunted types that can't imagine the universe being able to go on without them (or their descendents) in it.
Isn't there something about the notion that the universe is still expanding having been confirmed by observations of galaxies moving away from us - something like dots on a balloon expanding and therefore the dots getting further and further away from each other - at the speed at which the universe is expanding.
Then how do the galaxies collide? Is it like dots on an expanding balloon, all moving on the surface as well? And if so, how the heck did we get the above mentioned proof of the universe still expanding?
Milky way, Andromeda and about 50 small satellite galaxies make up the local group. These are all so close together that their gravitational fields affect each other. The local group is part of a cluster of groups of galaxies. There are many clusters of groups. Galaxies inside a group orbit the centre of mass of the group. The distance between clusters increases with the expansion of the universe.
Take a look at the diagram at the end of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Group
Yes, in addition to the space itself expanding, the galaxies move within it. Andromeda galaxy is too close to us for the expansion of space to matter too much (it contributes about 70km/s to its speed). The proof of expansion comes from observations of galaxies that are about 1000x times as far, and thus the expansion of space affects their distance from us about 1000x as much.
I'm not an astronomer, so the following is probably not at all what happens out there in the universe:
imagine a fireworks rocket. It goes up, and explodes into several sparkly bits. These (ignoring gravity and air resistance) fly out from the original explosion point, and would never meet as long as their trajectories don't fold back. But those sparkly bits tend to explode too, throwing stuff out radially from *that* point, and those sparkly remnants may now well be on a collision course with another sparkly bit, or the remnants of its explosion.
> imagine a fireworks rocket.
Geometrically more correct is the expanding balloon with bits on it can move around and attract each other. Some will collide, some won't get the chance. Also, as the balloon is expanding more and more quickly and lightspeed is max speed, every bit will at some point in time be a lonely spec of solitude on an outrushing surface.
Penrose had some idea that if you magically get rid of the rest mass of the lonely wandering particles, a simple conformal geometrical transformation shows that a very-far-future, very-large, very-empty, very-much-nothing-happening-anymore universe actually looks like a very-small, very-dense, very-young, very-active universe. Like a russian doll. But this still needs some work.
That would be amazing to see. It's also worth noting that it is no reason to suspect the demise of the galaxy or the starts in it. Most of the stars will pass by relatively distant from each other. Depending on how the galaxies collide, they will pass through each other (with relatively little casualties) or merge into one (again with small effects to individual stars).
colliding galaxies are noticable due to the massive star formation triggered by colliding gas clouds. Many of these stars are large and go supernova. This tends to stuff up the view of the city lights and smog. The chances of being in the kill zone of a supernova are higher than in an undisturbed spiral.
So the Mayans were only off by 4 billion years ??
One, they're estimating it's 4 billion years away. Considering we've not been on this planet a million years, I won't hold my breath. And, secondly, El Reg, the Caps Lock key is on the left. You may want to oil that puppy. It seem to get stuck a lot when you're writing your headlines.
By that time we'll be able to get to the galactic centre and lob stars into the black hole. Fire up a jet along the galactic axis, and make sure it only goes in one direction rather than switching directions as most do. With the reaction from the jet, fly the Milky Way away from the collision.
And yet I can't help but notice that the crash shots appear to show a night sky as directed by Michael Bay.
Also, four billion years, that's some perspective, makes you think eh? all this rushing around, squabbling for money... have you considered becoming an organ donor? Can I have your liver?
The stars are very very very unlikely to hit each other, but the bright 'blasts' you are seeing are star formation areas caused by interstellar gas masses crashing into each other. And yes looking deep in to space and looking at crashing galaxies does look like this (at least when you look at the entire iR, vis, x-ray spectrum).
It's almost as comforting to think that the world's economy will expand forever as it is to think that the Universe already has.
But Lord, can you find it in your purview to expand forever our supply of crude oil and lead us not into the temptation of the bitumen kind.
The two black holes will eventually merge and you'll have one rather more massive black hole. If Triangulum also joins the party then its black hole may well get ejected at great speed as it will be the smaller of the three and three body systems are unstable.
Theoretically when two black holes merge you get lots of gravitational waves which scientists have been trying to detect (unsuccessfully so far), a close merger on this scale would be a good test for the instruments.
Too bad the GAGA acronym was hastily wasted on some gardening tool. The SP- Bureau could have done a project called "Great! Andromeda Galaxy APPROACHING!" and sent some observation equipment over there before it struck.
On the other hand.... at least our lawns will look tidy when the Andromedans arrive. We won't have to worry about keeping up with the Triangulum-Jones'.
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