Skip to comments.Milky Way Expected to Survive a Beating
Posted on 09/07/2009 11:35:33 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
Though the Milky Way is taking a good beating from nearby mini-galaxies that sometimes slam into it, our galaxy is not likely to de destroyed by this process as some scientists had predicted, a new study finds.
Circling around the Milky Way are between 20 and 25 known satellite dwarf galaxies, which are smaller clumps of stars bound in orbit around the Milky Way by gravitational attraction.
Some pessimists predicted the Milky Way was doomed to a grizzly death by dismemberment if enough of these galaxies collide with it. In fact, scientists think many satellite galaxies have already rammed into the Milky Way, though so far it has endured.
A new computer simulation indicates that rather than tearing apart a galaxy, collisions with dwarf galaxies serve to puff up the host's pancake-shaped galactic disk. Indeed, evidence of this puffiness has been found in the form of rings and flares of stars around the edges of other galaxies' disks.
"Our simulations showed that the satellite galaxy impacts don't destroy spiral galaxies they actually drive their evolution, by producing this flared shape and creating stellar rings spectacular rings of stars that we've seen in many spiral galaxies in the universe," said study leader Stelios Kazantzidis, an astronomer at Ohio State University.
Though our galaxy may not be in danger from dwarf galaxies, astronomers do expect it to eventually collide with the nearest full-size galaxy, Andromeda. In a few billion years, the two spirals should smash into each other head on.
"The collision with Andromeda is a collision between two essentially equal-mass galaxies, whereas satellite bombardment involves encounters with much smaller systems compared to the Milky Way," Kazantzidis told SPACE.com.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
The Milky Way is seen during the Perseid shower above the Los Padres National Forest in Frazier Park, California, August 12, 2009. The Perseid meteor shower is sparked every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. Perseid meteors are bright, and often leave luminous trails of gas. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENT SCI TECH)
Shouldn't that be "grisly"? Or will the galaxy be torn apart by grizzly bears?
a brief paws while I panda that one.
Looks like a ready-made excuse for some sort of government program...the Galaxy Collision Interdiction Act of 2009. Everyone can be taxed for the purpose of filing suit against the interloper galaxy.
did that “grizzly” come from the Space.com reporter??
Why would you beat a candy bar?
Someone used spell check in lieu of actually proofreading the article.
I never tire at the amusement I derive from the lack of linguistic skill evident from so many supposedly “educated” people. Grizzly, indeed-!!
Hopefully, we have no need for a "star czar."
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Go to your room!
We must be Politically Correct!
They are Little Galaxys! And No! I'm not Grumpy!
These are Hubble images of colliding galaxies, which are more common than one might suspect.
The photo credit for the image in your post indicates that it was taken near Frazier Park, probably from the parking lot near the top of Mount Pinos. This is a great location for viewing the night sky. If you drive up on the night of a new moon, or a weekend night closest to the new moon, when the sky will remain dark all night long, you will find many enthusiasts with an array of telescopes. Any one of them will be happy to have you observe the target they are viewing. I hope the development of Tejon Ranch will make judicious use of lighting for the sake of preserving the night view from this spectacular location.
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