11 November 2015

Video of the day -- the great collision

This NASA animation shows events that will take place over the next several billion years (it's a silent video, so don't adjust your volume control).  Over this huge span of time, the Andromeda galaxy and our own galaxy will approach, collide, and pass through each other twice -- the distances between stars within each galaxy are so vast that there will be few or no star-on-star collisions, but both galaxies' spiral structure will be totally disrupted by each other's gravity -- and then merge into a single cloud of stars.  The counter at the lower right shows billions of years into the future, so that last third-decimal-place digit -- the one changing too fast to follow -- is counting millions of years.  Found via Faye Kane (NSFW blog).


Blogger Alessandro Machi said...

Here is a low cost video that tells the same story, sort of. ha ha.
Click Here
Link won't work if you are not registered with facebook.

12 November, 2015 00:51  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

You did write billions of years, right? Whew, I thought I read millions of years. So I'm not panicking. What a relief. ;)

Great video.

12 November, 2015 06:05  
Anonymous Marc McKenzie said...

Wow....but then again, didn't "Doc" Smith open his LENSMAN series with the collision of two galaxies billions of years ago? :)

12 November, 2015 07:31  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Alessandro: Too bad galaxies aren't neatly organized like that.

Shaw: Yes, this will happen over a period about a million times as long as recorded history, not just a thousand times as long.

Marc: I'm not familiar with Lensman, but a galactic collision seems like a rather slow-paced event for the normal time frame of a novel.....

13 November, 2015 18:04  

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