News24

Nasa calculates galaxy crash

2012-06-01 12:00

Washington - Don't worry about when the world as we know it might end. Nasa has calculated that our entire Milky Way galaxy will crash into a neighbouring galaxy with a head-on hit - in four billion years.

Astronomers in a Nasa news conference on Thursday announced that observations from the Hubble Space Telescope detail a long-anticipated galactic smash-up.

Astronomers had seen the Andromeda galaxy coming at us, but thought there was a chance that its sideways motion would make it miss or graze the Milky Way. Hubble readings say there's no chance of that.

Scientists say the sun and Earth should easily survive what will be a 1.9 million kilometres per hour galactic merger, but likely will be in a different place in the cosmos.

Comments
  • Shaun.groenewald - 2012-06-01 12:22

    Come at us bro

      Phillip - 2012-06-01 12:36

      ....said "spietkop" Koos, sitting behind a bush, sipping his policeman's coffee, aiming his radar-gun at the stars... Hiehiehie

  • Phillip - 2012-06-01 12:32

    Well, then they should start building SKA.. no dilly-dallying about... we would like to see this major explosion. Good thing i dont believe in re-incarnation... this son of a princess, a long forgotten slave, a well known rugby player, a pirate, a frog... excetera... dont want to be the only survivor of this fantastic prediction.

      Mike - 2012-06-01 15:14

      4 billion years time no need to worry unless you are immortal.

  • donovan.porter - 2012-06-01 12:37

    amazing the amount of money spent on such ridiculous research.

      Qball - 2012-06-01 12:45

      Yes Donovan, I agree. Pure cr#p!!!

      zane.zeiler - 2012-06-01 13:46

      I doubt that this cost much, just observation via infrastructure already implemented for other astronomical research coupled with a few days of hitting ye old chalk board and voila!

      zaatheist - 2012-06-01 14:44

      Luddite!

      Clive - 2012-06-01 15:22

      In 4 billion years time, your descendents might just be thankful for the foresight of this generation's cosmologists.

      Thermophage - 2012-06-01 17:56

      WTF man? I bet you think the earth is only 6 000 years old as well, don't you?

  • tony.delucchi - 2012-06-01 12:45

    ....what utter nonsense! They struggle to predict the weather, they never can predict an earthquake nor a volcanic eruption, now they tell us what will happen in 4 billion years time?????

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-01 14:09

      Mathematics and astrophysics calculations, entered into a supercomputer

      Clive - 2012-06-01 15:25

      If Andromeda and Milky Way are getting closer, all that's needed is "how quickly". That into the distance = 4b years. It is actually quite simple. What was not simple was to discover that they are getting closer in the first place. Weather is difficult to predict because of factors that have to be anticipated, not observed. This is basically simple observation and ten buck calculator.

      Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-06-01 17:16

      Tony they can actually see it playing out infront of our eyes and calculate itthrough telescopes. You can't see the weather or volcanoes

  • rowen.loretz - 2012-06-01 12:52

    LOL. this is funny. 4 billion years from now and nothing will happen to earth when they crash? You got to be kiddin' me. Do they even know how many starts and planets we have in our own galaxy?

      coleman.guyg - 2012-06-01 13:38

      @EKbliksemvirjou, seriously? I can't even begin to explain how utterly ignorant your comment is. First of all if you question the validity of a statement(which is great and you should question things) is look up the facts before boastfully proclaiming them to be false (which they aren't). A little reading goes a long way to understand the universe you live in. Honestly it's just a little reading, you can do it. Secondly when something disagrees with what you know, ask yourself if maybe just maybe you don't know enough, rather than rubbish the claims of people with vastly more knowledge in their area of expertise than you do. Unless of course advertising your lack of depth is something you aim for in your day to day dealings.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-01 14:11

      The gravitational forces, and dark energy will prevent most cosmic bodies from colliding.

      vessela.hobson - 2012-06-01 14:57

      *stars um.....yes, I believe they DO

      Clive - 2012-06-01 15:29

      Computer simulations derived from Hubble's data show that it will take an additional two billion years after the encounter for the interacting galaxies to completely merge under the tug of gravity and reshape into a single elliptical galaxy similar to the kind commonly seen in the local universe. Although the galaxies will plow into each other, stars inside each galaxy are so far apart that they will not collide with other stars during the encounter. However, the stars will be thrown into different orbits around the new galactic center. Simulations show that our solar system will probably be tossed much farther from the galactic core than it is today.

      Blackpoison - 2012-06-01 20:15

      Jou naam sĂȘ nogal baie ter verduideliking van jou opmerking. Gaan drink liewer nog 'n dop en los die sterrekunde vir die omies wat slimmer as jy is.

  • JNaMolefe - 2012-06-01 14:11

    Omg! I understand it won't hit our Earth and the sun but HOPEFULLY they won't reach us! What if other people that side? GO AND FIND OUT RIGHT NOW!!! Try to detect if there's another network that planet in another galaxy, what if there's people in the planet? Love it!

  • Michael - 2012-06-01 17:06

    It is possible that the Earth and the Sun will survive un harmed from the initial collision, however Andromeda galaxy merging with ours could put our planet or the Sun in the path of new oncoming planets, stars, meteors and asteroids. Even if these bodies don't collide with us or our solar system If a large enough planet gets close enough it could pull us out of orbit or change the rotation of the Earth. Nothing can be 100% guaranteed or calculated but it sure is an interesting concept to wrap your mind around. Every year, in fact every day our days become shorter by an extremely small amount. This is due to the small gravitational pull of the moon on the earth which is slowing down the Earth's rotation. Imagine the effect a larger planet could do if it go close enough. It would eventually consume Earth.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-06-02 01:38

    It is impossible to make a prediction like this. 4 Billion years is a pretty long time. During this time new discoveries will be made, we will see new things we have never seen before. Human perception of reality will change. Alot can and will happen/ change/ vary. It would be foolish to predict what will happen tomorrow because even that can change. Anyway let's all diarise, place you bets. Let's wait and see.

  • Practice - 2012-06-02 09:41

    This is 20year old news

  • ClaudsDeLuca - 2012-06-03 07:26

    If we have information on an event that occurs post human-race survival, does it remain significant?

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