Hidden Nook

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Saturday, August 27, 2005



When Galaxies Collide


[Media Source*]

(Universe Today) In the constellation of Pisces, 100 million light-years from Earth, two galaxies are smashing together in a dramatic demonstration of our far future: when the Milky Way collides with the Andromeda Galaxy. This image of NGC 520 was taken with the Gemini North Telescope on the evening of July 13-14, 2005. It's possible to see dark dust lanes and a long trail of stars thrown out by the cosmic collision.

The image (seen below) reveals the future of two other well known galaxies--the Milkyway and it's larger neighbor Andromeda. Although the closest estimate is approximately five billion years before such a collision will occur, scientists are grateful to be able to "view from afar" an event such as this in their lifetime.


Prof. Robson [Director of the UK Astronomy Technology Centre] added, "Hints of new star formation taking place can be seen in the faint red glowing areas above and beneath the middle of the image. Perhaps even now the galaxies have totally combined to form a whole new galaxy with a brand new set of stars and associated planets - and maybe new life on one of those planets!"

Although we may never discover the latter part of Professor Robson's statement, one thing is certain though--the universe is a gorgeous frontier waiting to be explored.

(Editor's Note: NASA, hurry up!)



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By Darnell Clayton • 12:05 AM • Email Post • •

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