The Milky Way and Andromeda Collision

The Milky Way is but one of billions.
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Christopher K.
Posts: 4810
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

The Milky Way and Andromeda Collision

Post by Christopher K. » May 27th, 2012, 5:59 pm

NASA periodically calls Science Updates with the media. The next one, taking place Thursday at 12pm CDT, promises to be exciting as participants reveal (thanks to precise Hubble measurements) whether the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies will have a head-on collision or a glancing blow.

Participants will include...
-- Roeland van der Marel, Space Telescope Science Institute
-- Sangmo Tony Sohn, Space Telescope Science Institute
-- Rosemary Wyse, Johns Hopkins University
-- John Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate

The Update will take place at NASA Headquarters' James E. Webb Auditorium in D.C. and will be shown live on NASA-TV.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/ma ... pdate.html

Christopher K.
Posts: 4810
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: The Milky Way and Andromeda Collision

Post by Christopher K. » June 25th, 2012, 11:19 pm

The servicing missions to Hubble are the "gifts that keep on giving". Because of the HST's measurements of the Andromeda Galaxy's motion, scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute are able to predict the fate of the Milky Way Galaxy with keen precision. Four billion years from now, the two spiral behemoths will collide head-on. It is highly likely that the Solar System will wind up farther from the new creation's core than it is from the Milky Way's. Later on, M33 (the Triangulum Galaxy) might merge with the merge!

A released computer animation is fun to watch. It shows the galaxies zipping through each other and separating. Then they seem to hesistate, as though changing their minds, and reverse course. They zip through each other again and again, each time staying closer than before. Finally they settle together as a glowing blob.

More information:
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/sc ... andromeda/

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