Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

Milky Way, Andromeda galaxies set to crash in 4 billion years

Posted in Science on 1st Jun, 2012 10:01 AM by AlexMuller

The Milky Way is set to collide with its closest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, astronomers working with the Hubble Space Telescope said Thursday. Galactic residents need not brace for impact just yet, however: The predicted collision would take place in 4 billion years.


Andromeda, officially known as Messier 31, or M31, is located about 2.5 million light-years away from the Milky Way — which would make it our closest fellow spiral galaxy. Spiral galaxies have flat, rotating, disc-shaped bodies with spiral arms  anchored by a supermassive black hole at the center.


“Because Andromeda is getting closer to us, astronomers have speculated for a long time whether it might collide with our Milky Way and whether the galaxies might merge together,” said Roeland van der Marel, an astronomer with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. “However, to know if this will in fact happen, it’s necessary to know not only how Andromeda is moving in our direction, but also what its sideways motion is. Because that will determine whether Andromeda will miss us at a distance — or whether it might be heading straight for us.”


The galaxy’s gradual sideways movement is really hard to measure because, on the short human time scale, Andromeda almost doesn’t seem to budge. Over a few billion years, though, such minimal movement would make a big difference.


So the scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope to painstakingly measure the tiny sideways shifts in the galaxy’s stars over a 5-to-7-year period. They could then use that movement to extrapolate what the path of the galaxy would most likely be — and it turned out to bring Andromeda straight into the Milky Way’s spiral arms. Andromeda’s smaller companion galaxy, M33, could join the collision, making it a galactic group hug.


Over about 2 billion years, the two spiral galaxies would merge, forming a more globular, non-rotating galaxy known as an elliptical galaxy. The sun would probably get flung out farther from the Milky Way's center, but Earth would almost certainly remain undisturbed, relatively speaking: It’s extremely unlikely  that any star would come close enough to our solar system for its gravity to disrupt our planet's  position around the sun.


Andromeda is headed toward us at 250,000 mph — a speed that would allow it to reach the moon from the Earth in an hour. It will accelerate up to five times the current speed as gravity pulls the two galaxies inexorably into one another's spiral arms, scientists said.


As for what the new elliptical galaxy would be called, Van der Marel said there wasn’t an official name — but that some researchers had previously referred to the galactic mashup by smashing their names together: "Milkomeda.”


Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-08
SZPdCj Thanks a lot for the blog post.Thanks Again. Will read on... Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-09-13
YjR8XX A round of applause for your blog post.Thanks Again. Will read on... Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-16
NqVys0 Great article.Really thank you! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-10-25
MTHRYH I appreciate you sharing this post.Thanks Again. Will read on... Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-31
gPxAvz wow, awesome article.Really thank you! Will read on... Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Medicine on 2018-08-21 04:02:29
    Restoring brain plasticity may hold key to more
    Posted in Hardware on 2018-08-20 02:03:37
    Will Mars Opportunity Rover reawaken as Martian more
    Posted in Science on 2018-08-18 01:34:39
    Hundreds of autism genes found to be triggered by more
    Posted in Science on 2018-08-18 01:30:28
    SpaceX vows manned flight to space station is on more
    Posted in Hardware on 2018-08-17 03:24:59
    Solar and Wind has to increase 5 times to provide all more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation? more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me