Tag Archives: NASA

Expected Collision the Milky Way and Andromeda


WASHINGTON – A cataclysmic collision between our Milky Way galaxy and the Andromeda is inevitable, but in four billion years. This was according to forecasts announced by NASA.

“Our model corresponds statistically to a collision between the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way,” said Roeland van der Marel, an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, during a press conference.

This conclusion results from measures of speed and direction of the trajectory of Andromeda, a complicated operation performed using the Hubble Space Telescope.

Andromeda, also known as M31, is currently at 2.5 million light years away (one light year is 9460 billion km), but is moving inexorably in the Milky Way.

This attraction comes from the gravitational forces exerted by the respective galaxies and the invisible dark matter that surrounds them.

“After almost a century of speculation in the scientific community about the fate of its neighbor, Andromeda and the Milky Way, we finally have a clear idea of ​​the progress of these cosmic events in the coming billion years,” noted Sangmo Tony Sohn, from the STScI.

This scenario is similar to the role of the “drummer” in a game of baseball. One who looks at the ball coming toward him at high speed, these are the astrophysicists.

Although Andromeda is approaching our galaxy 2,000 times faster, it will need four billion years before colliding with the Milky Way.

Furthermore, computer simulations developed with data produced by Hubble show it will take two billion years more, after the meeting between the two galaxies, so that their merger is complete.

This will provide a single galaxy, elliptical in shape, most common in our surrounding universe, the astronomers explained.

The Milky Way galaxy is a flat, so it will come out completely transformed, they predict.


The “Ring of Fire”

Thousands of people are planning viewing parties for the solar eclipse on May 20, a rare event in which the sun appears as a thin ring behind the moon. The eclipse will start in Asia on Monday morning, when it will be visible in southern Japan and southern China. In the U.S., the eclipse will be visible in northeast Texas through New Mexico, northeastern Arizona, southern Utah and Nevada, northern California and southwestern Oregon on Sunday night.

“I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to see this, because although it happens occasionally, is a fairly rare event,” said Jeffrey Newmark, a specialist in solar physics at NASA.

During an annular eclipse, the moon does not block the entire sun but leaves a bright ring of light visible at the edges, according to NASA.

“For the eclipse of May, the moon will be as far away from Earth than ever achieved, which means it blocks the smallest possible portion of the sun, and leaves the largest possible bright ring around the outside,” says the agency on its website. An annular eclipse last appeared in the U.S. in 1994. The next solar eclipse will be on November 13 and is expected to be visible in northern Australia, according to NASA.

In the western United States, more than 1,000 people could flood the small town of Kanarraville, Utah, a town of 300 inhabitants, to achieve one of the best views of the event on Sunday, said Bonnie Char, spokeswoman for the tourist office Cedar City. The people are calling eclipse “Ring of Fire”.