Meet the closest unmaker dont ponder on it!

  • Thread starter Phobo
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Phobo

Main Question or Discussion Point

Meet the closest unmaker.... dont ponder on it!

Incase you are unenlightened, the Nov 03 National Geographic has a lovely little description of the impending collision between the milky way and alpha centauri... in 'several billion years' ! No joke.

What da *&&%$# do we do?
 

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  • #2
mathman
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collision between the milky way and alpha centauri
You seem to have garbled something. Alpha centauri is the closest star to our solar system - therefore it is part of the milky way (our galaxy).
 
  • #3
LURCH
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Perhaps "Milky Way an d Andromeda"? I heard they had a date sometime soon.

That's why I alwats say; "live evry eon like it's your last"!
 
  • #4
Nereid
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Collisions?

So many stars, so few collisions. Of all the billions of stars in the Milky Way and M31 (the Andromeda galaxy), when (if?) the two collide, very few of the stars in each will. A far greater threat to our great(many thousands, or millions?)-grandchildren will be the supernovae and GRBs that will result from the bursts of star-formation that will occur in the remnants of the colliding giant molecular gas clouds. But well before then we'll have had to either harness other sources of energy (than fossil fuels) or dramatically cut back on the per-capita consumption (or reduce the population). So, lots of time still to drink many a glass of fine French champagne!
 
  • #5
Phobos
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Originally posted by Phobo
Incase you are unenlightened, the Nov 03 National Geographic has a lovely little description of the impending collision between the milky way and alpha centauri... in 'several billion years' ! No joke.

What da *&&%$# do we do?
First, we don't pick a username that annoys a mentor.

Second, don't panic. Yes, the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies may "collide" in a few billion years. But since both galaxies are made of empty space, they may just pass through each other with very few direct impacts. The gravitational disruption will be significant however. The shapes of the galaxies will be totally changed (no longer symmetrical spiral galaxies). The "impact" will also cause a burst in new star formations (as stagnant nebulae are nudged).

It's possible that the two galaxies may not have a direct collision...possibly a grazing impact...but gravity will still dramatically alter their shapes.

Either way, don't plan on it ruining your day or any other person...H. sapiens will be long gone by then (hopefully evolved into something else rather than going extinct). Closer to hope, that same time frame will be the time when our Sun burns up the Earth.
 
  • #6
Labguy
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Originally posted by Phobos
First, we don't pick a username that annoys a mentor.

Second, don't panic. Yes, the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies may "collide" in a few billion years. But since both galaxies are made of empty space, they may just pass through each other with very few direct impacts. The gravitational disruption will be significant however. The shapes of the galaxies will be totally changed (no longer symmetrical spiral galaxies). The "impact" will also cause a burst in new star formations (as stagnant nebulae are nudged).

It's possible that the two galaxies may not have a direct collision...possibly a grazing impact...but gravity will still dramatically alter their shapes.<snip>
like this:

http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2002/09/

Or many others like:

http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2003/14/image/a

Labguy
 

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