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AAS Meeting: Milky Way on Collision Course With Andromeda Galaxy
www.efluxmedia.com ^ | 01-07-09 | By Dee Chisamera

Posted on 01/07/2009 5:24:25 AM PST by Red Badger

Since Aristotle’s first theory on the Milky Way to present times, there’s still so much astronomers need to learn about the galaxy our Solar System lies in. Over the course of time, the observations made on the Milky Way itself seemed harder to do than on any other galaxy, simply because they had to be made from within the galaxy, offering very little perspective.

That is why the latest findings by scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics should come as no surprise. As it appears, not only were we wrong about the speed and weight of our Galaxy, but the likelihood of a collision with a nearby galaxy is also bigger than ever.

Astronomers have predicted that a collision between the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way is bound to take place. The result of that would be the formation of a new, larger galaxy..

Andromeda is a spiral galaxy of a similar size to ours, and is believed to have collided with at least one other galaxy in the past, according to specialists. Despite predictions, we shouldn’t worry though, since astronomers predicted the collision will take place in three to four billion years’ time. The European Space Agency will send the Gaia mission in late 2011 to investigate our galaxy.

Measurements have shown that Andromeda is approaching the Milky Way at almost 140 kilometers per second. The most recent study by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics suggested that our Galaxy is actually rotating 100,000 miles per hour faster than thought, which means a significant increase in mass, but also a greater gravitational pull that increases the likelihood of a collision with Andromeda or other smaller nearby galaxies.

Before the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) measurements made by scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the Milky Way was believed to be smaller than Andromeda. However, by studying the areas of star formation in our Galaxy at times when the Earth was at opposite sides of its orbit around the Sun, they were able to obtain the slight apparent shift of the object’s position against the background of more distant objects.

Karl Menten of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany, a member of the team of astronomers involved in the study, said the new measurements revise their understanding of the structure and motions of the Galaxy.

These VLBA observations produce highly-accurate direct measurements of distances and motions, and astronomers found direct distance measurements to differ from earlier, indirect measurements sometimes by a factor of two.

The VLBA is a system of 10 radio-telescope antennas that stretch from Hawaii to New England and the Caribbean, and has the ability to provide the most accurate observations to date. The system is even able to produce images hundreds of times more detailed than the Hubble Space Telescope.


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; galaxy; physics; space

Image Credit: NASA

WE'RE DOOOOMED!!!!!!!OBAMA, SAVE US!!!!!!!!!

1 posted on 01/07/2009 5:24:26 AM PST by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

Do they need a bail out?


2 posted on 01/07/2009 5:26:19 AM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: Red Badger
you're bored and you clipped and pasted two galaxies to make them look like they were colliding, right?
3 posted on 01/07/2009 5:26:24 AM PST by the invisib1e hand (revolution is in the air.)
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To: Red Badger

Didn’t we already know we were on a collision course with Andromeda?


4 posted on 01/07/2009 5:26:39 AM PST by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: Red Badger

Bush’s fault?


5 posted on 01/07/2009 5:27:36 AM PST by jpl (Episode 44: A New Dope - coming soon to a country near you.)
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To: jpl

Women and Minorities hardest hit.


6 posted on 01/07/2009 5:28:31 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Red Badger

There were threads recently that speculated Earth really wasn’t a member of the milky way galaxy put instead part of a smaller galaxy that was in the process of colliding with the milky way. Anyone remember that?


7 posted on 01/07/2009 5:29:00 AM PST by saganite
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To: the invisib1e hand

No, Somebody at NASA did............


8 posted on 01/07/2009 5:29:21 AM PST by Red Badger (I was sad because I had no shoes to throw, until I met a reporter who had no feet.....)
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To: Red Badger

Minus some refined parameters, we’ve known of this for a long time.


9 posted on 01/07/2009 5:29:37 AM PST by onedoug
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To: Red Badger
The result of that would be the formation of a new, larger galaxy..

Damn megagalaxies. Taking over all the ma and pa galaxies.

10 posted on 01/07/2009 5:29:43 AM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: Larry Lucido

We may need to bail out!.............


11 posted on 01/07/2009 5:30:02 AM PST by Red Badger (I was sad because I had no shoes to throw, until I met a reporter who had no feet.....)
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To: Red Badger

Memo: Scratch plans to vacation in Andromeda.

3or4 billion years......but, still.


12 posted on 01/07/2009 5:30:10 AM PST by wolfcreek (I see miles and miles of Texas....let's keep it that way.)
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To: Red Badger

“...our Galaxy is actually rotating 100,000 miles per hour faster than thought...”

My dizzy spells are explanded at last!


13 posted on 01/07/2009 5:30:39 AM PST by pappyone (New to Freep, still working a tag line.)
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To: Red Badger

Well, the Andromedans do have hot women.

14 posted on 01/07/2009 5:30:47 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: Red Badger
No, Somebody at NASA did............

Of course, I should have known. Maybe Hansen has new marching orders from Algore.

"You'd better come up with something I can use to scare them with!"

15 posted on 01/07/2009 5:31:40 AM PST by the invisib1e hand (revolution is in the air.)
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To: cripplecreek
cripplecreek wrote:
"Didn't we already know we were on a collision course with Andromeda?"

Yes, and the article says so.

The prior thinking was that the collision would be a sideswipe whereas a more massive Milky Way galaxy would result in a more direct collision.

16 posted on 01/07/2009 5:31:57 AM PST by Clive
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To: the invisib1e hand

From “Globull Warming” to “Galactic Collision”..........Hey, this’ll work for 3 billion years!..........


17 posted on 01/07/2009 5:33:20 AM PST by Red Badger (I was sad because I had no shoes to throw, until I met a reporter who had no feet.....)
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To: Red Badger

Captains log, stardate 4,000,000,000,034. Haulin’ ass out of the Milky Way.


18 posted on 01/07/2009 5:33:40 AM PST by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: fieldmarshaldj
Well, the Andromedans do have hot women.

Looks more coldly aloof to me.
19 posted on 01/07/2009 5:34:06 AM PST by aruanan
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To: Clive

Everyone crash positions!


20 posted on 01/07/2009 5:34:26 AM PST by Cheesel (The Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.)
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To: Cheesel

Wait...I meant everyone ASSUME crash positions!

I hope my insurance covers the damages caused by this...


21 posted on 01/07/2009 5:35:21 AM PST by Cheesel (The Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.)
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To: Red Badger

Astronomers have predicted that a collision between the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way is bound to take place.

ai-EEEEEEEE...the sky is falling! Zero! save us!


22 posted on 01/07/2009 5:36:30 AM PST by Adder (typical basicly decent bitter white person)
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To: Red Badger

I hope I can TIVO it!


23 posted on 01/07/2009 5:37:05 AM PST by Doc Savage ("Are you saying Jesus can't hit a curve ball? - Harris to Cerrano - Major League)
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To: Red Badger
"since astronomers predicted the collision will take place in three to four billion years’ time. "

Crap! My BlackBerry doesn't schedule that far in advance...

24 posted on 01/07/2009 5:37:44 AM PST by Hatteras
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To: Red Badger
As it appears, not only were we wrong about the speed and weight of our Galaxy

Wait, astronomers were wrong about something? Well, this completely discredits astronomy, so I guess earth IS flat, motionless, and central to everything. We'll be fine.

25 posted on 01/07/2009 5:44:08 AM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: Red Badger


26 posted on 01/07/2009 5:45:37 AM PST by Chode (American Hedonist -)
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To: Larry Lucido
As it appears, not only were we wrong about the speed and weight of our Galaxy

At least THEY admit when they are wrong, unlike "climatologists"...........

27 posted on 01/07/2009 5:46:02 AM PST by Red Badger (I was sad because I had no shoes to throw, until I met a reporter who had no feet.....)
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To: Hatteras

I guess you don’t have the newest upgrade...........


28 posted on 01/07/2009 5:46:40 AM PST by Red Badger (I was sad because I had no shoes to throw, until I met a reporter who had no feet.....)
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To: the invisib1e hand
Of course, I should have known. Maybe Hansen has new marching orders from Algore.

"You'd better come up with something I can use to scare them with!"

Anthropogenic galactic collisions?

29 posted on 01/07/2009 5:47:57 AM PST by The_Victor (If all I want is a warm feeling, I should just wet my pants.)
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To: Adder

Better check you home owner’s insurance for “galactic collision”..........


30 posted on 01/07/2009 5:47:59 AM PST by Red Badger (I was sad because I had no shoes to throw, until I met a reporter who had no feet.....)
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To: Red Badger

If we’re going to suffer a galactic collision, I guess I can forget about my New Year’s diet.


31 posted on 01/07/2009 5:51:44 AM PST by 6SJ7 (Atlas Shrugged Mode: ON)
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To: 6SJ7

Party like it’s 19999999999999999.............


32 posted on 01/07/2009 5:52:51 AM PST by Red Badger (I was sad because I had no shoes to throw, until I met a reporter who had no feet.....)
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To: Red Badger

You will be assimilated.


33 posted on 01/07/2009 5:55:10 AM PST by kalee
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To: kalee

I hate it when that happens........


34 posted on 01/07/2009 5:58:45 AM PST by Red Badger (I was sad because I had no shoes to throw, until I met a reporter who had no feet.....)
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To: DuncanWaring

First thing that came to my mind as well.

But I looked at the replies before posting it.


35 posted on 01/07/2009 6:08:01 AM PST by George Smiley (Palin is the real deal.)
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To: Red Badger

It’s TERRIBLE -what Bush has done to this galaxy!!!


36 posted on 01/07/2009 6:10:53 AM PST by J40000
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To: George Smiley; jpl

Was also going to post “Bush’s Fault”, but jpl beat me to that one at #5.


37 posted on 01/07/2009 6:39:59 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Red Badger

This could end badly...

38 posted on 01/07/2009 6:59:40 AM PST by Jeff F (austinaero; Phoenix11; WaterBoard)
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To: Red Badger
We need a crash program to figure out how to move our system out of the Milky Way, out of the path of the collision. Call it Galactic Secession.

We need at least Sol and Luna along with Earth, and if bringing Venus and Mars along for the company only costs a couple quadrillion more terabucks, then so be it-- we may yet find life on Mars, and Venus is just pretty.

OTOH I don't give two Schlitz for Mercury, and the gas giants are like Aunt Betty's sideboard-- if it don't fit in the U-Haul, we're leaving it.

99.9% income and 120% sales taxes ought to do it, doncha think?

39 posted on 01/07/2009 11:13:23 AM PST by ExGeeEye (COTUS 2A should be the USA's ONLY gun law.)
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To: Red Badger

Thanks.

Now, in addition to the SunSpot Deficiency, and the anomalous behavior of the Earth’s magnetic field, I have another issue that people can worry about when they whine about energy, the GW/CC etc, etc.

Galactic Collision. We’re doomed.

No airbags, no seatbelts, some creator.


40 posted on 01/07/2009 11:17:32 AM PST by swarthyguy ("We may be crazy in Pakistan, but not completely out of our minds," ISI Gen. Ahmed Shujaa Pasha)
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To: Red Badger

Hey, at least those Andromeda aliens won’t have to turn us all into dessicated cubes and rig the Enterprise to make the trip across in a few decades.

Thanks Red Badger.

Astrophysicists Map Milky Way’s Four Spiral Arms
www.sciencedaily.com | 01/07/2009 | Iowa State University
Posted on 01/07/2009 10:28:20 AM PST by Red Badger
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2160370/posts

Milky Way — the galaxy — not snack-sized anymore
Associated Press | Jan. 5, 2009 | Seth Borenstein
Posted on 01/05/2009 11:16:51 AM PST by decimon
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2159109/posts

Milky Way a Swifter Spinner, More Massive, New Measurements Show
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | 1/5/09 | CfA
Posted on 01/05/2009 2:41:26 PM PST by NormsRevenge
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2159221/posts

Milky Way ‘bigger than thought’
BBC | 01-07-09 | Staff
Posted on 01/07/2009 5:19:26 AM PST by Red Badger
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2160162/posts


41 posted on 01/07/2009 3:38:04 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/___________First 2009 Profile update Tuesday, January 6, 2009)
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To: 75thOVI; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; BBell; ...
This could take a while, though.
 
Catastrophism
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

42 posted on 01/07/2009 3:38:37 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/___________First 2009 Profile update Tuesday, January 6, 2009)
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To: Red Badger
three billion years .... yep, another crisis coming too fast for us to avoid. Just let Congress come up with a 100 trillion dollar 'stimulus' package in time to avoid the problem.

This is what you get when two galaxies collide.


43 posted on 01/07/2009 3:40:32 PM PST by Centurion2000 (To protect and defend ... against all enemies, foreign and domestic .... by any means necessary.)
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To: Red Badger

That must give Andromeda strain!


44 posted on 01/07/2009 3:41:22 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Don't rush to be savage!.)
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To: Larry Lucido; Red Badger; SunkenCiv
Milky Way on Collision Course With Andromeda Galaxy

Do they need a bail out?

Yes.

Bring a bucket.

45 posted on 01/07/2009 3:49:01 PM PST by fanfan (Update on Constitutional Crisis in Canada.....Click user name)
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To: fanfan

I wonder if most other galaxies are named after candy bars or after cartoon characters?


46 posted on 01/07/2009 4:47:35 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/___________First 2009 Profile update Tuesday, January 6, 2009)
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To: the invisib1e hand
you're bored and you clipped and pasted two galaxies to make them look like they were colliding, right?

Somebody used a really tall tripod.

47 posted on 01/07/2009 4:48:48 PM PST by stayathomemom (Cat herder and empty nester)
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