November 5, 2013

Galactic Collision

Meet Andromeda

As Mary Poppins would say, "sometimes a person we love through no fault of his own can't see past the end of his nose."

So today, I shall take you to a galaxy far, far away... or not that far away, and getting closer every hour, every minute, every second!  To the Andromeda Galaxy which is currently about 2.5 million light-years away from us, but after traveling 400,000 km/hour is to collide with our beloved Milky Way in approx. 4 billion years.

Andromeda - Milky Way Collision

Yeah, so you'll have to wait for your great-great-great-great-great-great-great(^x) grandchildren to see it (if the Earth is still around (though according to some, even Earth won't be around to witness the grand event).  But still it's kinda cool to think about these two majestic galaxies forming a new, Megalaxy (excuse the lame pun, the original text used "supergalaxy") together.  The process is expected to be somewhat like this:

1) Love at first sight! The two galaxies feel each other's gravitational pull irresistible!
2) The two lovebirds start a mating dance, orbiting each other.
3) The mating -- Andromeda and Milky get busy, creating a 3D galaxy from two flat spirals.

Theories suggest that this mating won't affect our little solar system, but considering there are others who state that our solar system will be going suicidal with the sun turning red giant on us, who truly knows?

All Hail our future Megalaxy!
Smithsonian Magazine

1 comment:

  1. Just one bloody thing after another here in timespace. This is what happens when the Infinite Creator tries to economize on a Logos by putting ten pounds in a nine-pound sack, as it were. This cost-cutting mania goes right to the very top, I tell you, and we little people always get it in the neck. Oh well. Cheers!