Cosmology News

Fri nite frite: Milky Way will collide with Andromeda galaxy, says NASA

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What Milky Way, Andromeda crash might look like/NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), and A. Mellinger

You want apocalypse? Get this: From “Crash of the Titans: Milky Way Is Destined for Head-On Collision With Andromeda Galaxy” (ScienceDaily, May 31, 2012), we learn,

NASA astronomers can now predict with certainty the next major cosmic event to affect our galaxy, Sun, and solar system: the titanic collision of our Milky Way galaxy with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy.

Ooooh!! Better than the fireworks. And just as harmful, because …

The Milky Way is destined to get a major makeover during the encounter, which is predicted to happen four billion years from now. It is likely the Sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system are in no danger of being destroyed.

No? Oh wait. For us, “destroyed” isn’t the issue. But how would it affect life on Earth?

Note: UD News service was interrupted today due to power failures, owing to high winds ?uppadashack.

5 Replies to “Fri nite frite: Milky Way will collide with Andromeda galaxy, says NASA

  1. 1
    Jerad says:

    Whew, we survive a giant collision only to have the Sun turn into a red giant and fry all life on Earth anyway. Who designed that? 🙂

  2. 2
    News says:

    Someone with a taste for literary science fiction?

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Evidence, instead, that this solar system and planet arguably are not our “permanent” home? [As in, surprised by C S Lewis’s “Joy” — he meant a form of sehnsucht — that shows a hunger that is satisfiable only beyond this world? That is, is this not a sign that we were meant to fly and soar in the wind of the Spirit, not merely to drearily walk or run and grow ever more weary?)

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    Ps: Here is Lewis’ description:

    “The third glimpse [of Joy] came through poetry…. I idly turned the pages of the book and found the unrhymed translation of Tegner’s Drapa and read, ‘I heard a voice that cried, Balder the beautiful Is dead, is dead.’ …I knew nothing about Balder, but instantly I was uplifted…. I desired with almost sickening intensity something never to be described….

    “The reader who finds these three episodes of no interest need read this book no further, for in a sense the central story of my life is about nothing else…. I will only underline the quality common to the three experiences; it is that of an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction. I call it Joy, which is here a technical term and must be sharply distinguished both from Happiness and from Pleasure. Joy (in my sense) has indeed one characteristic… in common with them; the fact that anyone who has experienced it will want it again.” [17-18]

    The KJV is unmatched in English, a translation made by men who had the poetic sense that captures a vision beyond mere words:

    Isa 40:27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel,
    My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?

    28 Hast thou not known?
    hast thou not heard,
    that the everlasting God,
    the Lord,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth,
    fainteth not,
    neither is weary?
    there is no searching
    of his understanding.

    29 He giveth power to the faint;
    and to them that have no might
    he increaseth strength.

    30 Even the youths
    shall faint and be weary,
    and the young men
    shall utterly fall:

    31 But they that wait upon the Lord
    shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
    they shall run,
    and not be weary;
    and they shall walk,
    and not faint.

    So, let us soar!

    (I guess I need to do a BA77 thing: This video expresses the sense, in a different but related metaphor.)

  5. 5
    Eugen says:

    With density of 0.00080 of a Solar-mass per cubic light-year galaxies will pass through each other without too many fireworks.
    Sorry to spoil the event in case someone was planning on watching. 🙂

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