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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 3rd 2009, 08:53 PM

Our nearest major galactic neighbor is a cosmic cannibal. And it's heading this way eventually.
Astronomers have long suspected Andromeda of being a space predator, consuming dwarf galaxies that wander too close. Now, cosmic detectives are doing a massive search of the neighborhood and have found proof of Andromeda's sordid past: They've spotted leftovers in Andromeda's wake.
Early results of a massive telescope scan of Andromeda and its surroundings found about half a dozen remnants of Andromeda's galactic appetite. Stars and dwarf galaxies that got too close to Andromeda were ripped from their usual surroundings.

"What we're seeing right now are the signs of cannibalism," said study lead author Alan McConnachie of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria, British Columbia. "We're finding things that have been destroyed ... partly digested remains."
Their report is published in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature.
Andromeda and our Milky Way are the two big dogs of our galactic neighborhood. Andromeda is the closest major galaxy to us, about 2.5 million light years away. A light year is about 5.9 trillion miles. The massive mapping of Andromeda is looking half a million light years around Andromeda.
Astronomers have known for decades that galaxies consume each other, sometimes violently, sometimes just creating new mega-galaxies. But this study is different because "of the scale of the cannibalism and we've found evidence directly in front of our eyes," said co-author Mike Irwin, an astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge in England.
This type of galactic crash is common and the paper makes sense, said Harvard astronomer Mark Reid, who wasn't part of the Andromeda mapping team. And just because Andromeda consumes a galaxy, it doesn't make it disappear, he added.
The cannibalism often just strips stars from where they had been, rearranging the night sky. Most of a galaxy is empty space, so there is little if any crashing of stars and planets going on, Irwin said.
"It would be a beautiful night sky," he said. "It would be quite spectacular."
The once and future main victim of Andromeda is a dwarf galaxy that circles it called Triangulum.
Eventually, in about 3 billion years, Triangulum, which once came too close to Andromeda and was stripped of some stars, will spiral into Andromeda, about the same time it comes crashing into our galaxy, said study co-author John Dubinksi of the University of Toronto.
The Milky Way and Andromeda are heading toward each other at about 75 miles per second. They are so far away from each other that the big crash is a few billion years away. And even that might be nothing more than a reshuffling of the night sky or the creation of one super-sized galaxy, McConnachie said.

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Re: 'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 3rd 2009, 08:58 PM

That's kind of interesting. I only came to read it to make sure it wasn't going to be here anytime soon, I get kinda worried about comets and other space stuff destroying Earth.


   
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Re: 'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 3rd 2009, 10:05 PM

So the milky way is going to crash into Andromeda in a really long time? Am I interpreting this correctly?



   
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Re: 'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 3rd 2009, 10:32 PM

You will be dead before this happens so don't panic.


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Re: 'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 3rd 2009, 11:59 PM

Haha not my problem
It's a shame we can't do anything about it though.
   
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Re: 'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 4th 2009, 03:09 AM

it probibly not even a problem for the human race as we know it 3 billion years is a long time and here is the other thing

this solar system is like an atom in a car that is the milky way



now crash that car into another one the cars are destroyed but the atoms remain intact


the galixy will be torn apart but earth has a very good chance of getting through un scathed


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Re: 'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 4th 2009, 03:16 AM

By that point, we very well may have annihilated ourselves. Or perhaps we'll have developed the technology to travel to another galaxy.


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Re: 'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 4th 2009, 03:23 AM

I don't think that we will be traviling that far. most of the stars in the sky are too far away to be reached in one lifetime traviling at the speed of light so even with 3 billion years to develop technology we realy won't get to another galixy and we don't realy have a reason there is enough space in this one for our race to explore in a trillion years. and like I said the galixy might be torn to shreads but save for a few freak colliosons the stars will be just fine


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Re: 'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 4th 2009, 06:47 PM

-yawn- Big deal. Do you know how many meteors that could easily wipe us out pass us on a daily basis? By mere inches? Besides, the universe is expanding, so by the time this is supposed to happen we may already be far enough away to avoid it.


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Re: 'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 4th 2009, 10:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oiseau the Little Bird! View Post
-yawn- Big deal. Do you know how many meteors that could easily wipe us out pass us on a daily basis? By mere inches? Besides, the universe is expanding, so by the time this is supposed to happen we may already be far enough away to avoid it.
I know this isn't a huge issue there's worse things in space that can kill us all.


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Re: 'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 5th 2009, 03:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oiseau the Little Bird! View Post
-yawn- Big deal. Do you know how many meteors that could easily wipe us out pass us on a daily basis? By mere inches? Besides, the universe is expanding, so by the time this is supposed to happen we may already be far enough away to avoid it.

the univers is expanding yes but the galaxy is not and agen earth has a good cance of surviving the impact the other galixy is heading towards our galixy not our planet


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Re: 'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 5th 2009, 11:28 PM

See, when I first read the title of this thread, I immediately thought of Marvel's Galactus...






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Re: 'Cosmic Cannibal ' Heading Toward Earth - September 5th 2009, 11:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Invictus View Post
See, when I first read the title of this thread, I immediately thought of Marvel's Galactus...


That came to mind as well lol.


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