Thursday, May 31, 2012

To Collide: Andromeda & Milky Way Galaxies

5:11 p.m. Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cosmic smashup predicted, but Earth will survive


The Associated Press 

WASHINGTON — Don't worry about when the world as we know it might end. NASA has calculated that our entire Milky Way galaxy will crash into a neighboring galaxy with a direct head-on hit — in 4 billion years.

This illustration released by NASA depicts a view of the night sky just before the predicted merger between our Milky Way galaxy, left, and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. About 3.75 billion years from now, Andromeda's disk fills the field of view and its gravity begins to create tidal distortions in the Milky Way. The view is inspired by dynamical computer modeling of the future collision between the two galaxies. The two galaxies collide about 4 billion years from now and merge to form a single galaxy about 6 billion years from now. Astronomers in a Thursday, May 31, 2012, NASA news conference announced that observations from the Hubble Space Telescope detail a long-anticipated galactic smash-up. Astronomers had seen the Andromeda galaxy coming at us, but thought there was a chance that its sideways motion would make it miss or graze the Milky Way. Hubble readings say there's no chance of that.(AP Photo/NASA)
Astronomers in a NASA news conference Thursday said that years of observations from the Hubble Space Telescope provide grisly details of a long-anticipated galactic smashup. Astronomers had seen the Andromeda galaxy coming at us, but thought there was a chance that its sideways motion would make it miss or graze the Milky Way. Hubble readings now indicate that's not the case.

MORE: http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/cosmic-smashup-predicted-but-1450099.html

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http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/venustransit/notices/Poster-VenusTransit2012.html 

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