Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Galaxy Collisions: Simulation vs Observations
Posted on 05/15/2013 4:07:29 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: What happens when two galaxies collide? Although it may take over a billion years, such titanic clashes are quite common. Since galaxies are mostly empty space, no internal stars are likely to themselves collide. Rather the gravitation of each galaxy will distort or destroy the other galaxy, and the galaxies may eventually merge to form a single larger galaxy. Expansive gas and dust clouds collide and trigger waves of star formation that complete even during the interaction process. Pictured above is a computer simulation of two large spiral galaxies colliding, interspersed with real still images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Our own Milky Way Galaxy has absorbed several smaller galaxies during its existence and is even projected to merge with the larger neighboring Andromeda galaxy in a few billion years.
(Excerpt) Read more at 188.8.131.52 ...
[Credit: NASA, ESA; Visualization: Frank Summers (STScI); Simulation: Chris Mihos (CWRU) & Lars Hernquist (Harvard).]
Galaxy Collisions: Simulation vs Observations
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If we’re going to merge with Andromeda, we better tidy up a bit.
Merging with Andromeda? I first learned of this through news outlets and it is the direct results of rogue “low level” employees. I pledge a full investigation.
Isaac certainly had his act together. Impressive what a simple inverse square law and conservation of momentum can do. Of course, if two galaxies or planets or anything collide and fuse, i.e., become one, something has to account for the change in potential energy and that something is an increase in kinetic energy of some of the member stars. I suspect a lot of stars get thrown out into empty intergalactic space. It must be strange living on a planet circling an orphaned star, where there are virtually no other stars in the night sky, just the occasional galactic nebula, and once a year, seasonally, the midnight transit of the receding, but still quite prominent, mother galaxy, entwined in a Sapphic embrace with the one she disowned you for.
We have a few more pressing concerns than the collision with Andromeda.
As my son said, we’d better get cracking and find some other habitable planets out there soon, before the earth runs out of usable CO2 and all life suffocates. Once that problem is solved, then it’s time to think about Andromeda.
If the president of Andromeda Galaxy tours your solar system, look busy. And get that goddamned Free Republic off you computer.
It wouldn't be strange at all, if that's all you have ever known.
Ever read the story "Nightfall" (Isaac Asimov)? It takes place on a world that's in the opposite situation as the one you just proposed. Excellent story, too.
I came to this thread trying to be Sirius.
Man-Made Galactic Collisions really scares me.
How long before Andromeda death spirals into our Milky Way?
Great find. Thanks.
I hear we will have Andromedacare and Andromedaphones. Even Andromeda Hovercraft! I for one welcome our Andromedoverlords!
I was thinking of precisely that story. Astute of you to notice.