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Space

Andromeda Devouring Neighbor Galaxy 60

Posted by Soulskill
from the om-nom-nom dept.
Scientific Ninja writes "Astronomers in the University of Sydney have captured pictures of a 'union' between our closest neighboring galaxy, Andromeda, and its smaller neighbor, the Triangulum Galaxy. Published in the journal Nature on September 3rd, the research shows how large galaxies grow by incorporating stars from surrounding smaller galaxies. This popular model of galaxy evolution, called the 'hierarchical model,' predicts that large galaxies such as Andromeda, which can be seen with the naked eye from the northern hemisphere, should be surrounded by relics of smaller galaxies it has connected with."
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Andromeda Devouring Neighbor Galaxy

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  • Not quite (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dunbal (464142)

    This is no a surprise, considering that we originally belong to Sagittarius and are being devoured ourselves by this alien "Milky Way" galaxy...

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Lets hope we miss the black hole in the middle.
      Hmm, did Sagittarius have a black hole too?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JWSmythe (446288)

            Being that a blackhole is just a superdense high gravitational area, it's generally assumed that every galaxy has one at the center. Kinda like you expect a treat at the center of every tootsie roll tootsie pop. Every one I've ever encountered had one, but it's possible that there are some that don't. :)

           

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dintlu (1171159)

      If anything is surprising about this, it's the discovery that the disc of stars surrounding a galaxy can extend far beyond the bright, central disc.

      I'd be interested to know if this additional, distant mass will effect any changes on our existing hypotheses for galactic formation and accretion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Was that intended as a joke?

      +1 Funny [discovermagazine.com]

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Are we from the Sagittarius galaxy? These links suggest not.

      http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2007/06/27/is-the-sun-from-another-galaxy/

      http://www.astro.virginia.edu/~mfs4n/sgr/

  • Hail! (Score:4, Funny)

    by lorg (578246) on Monday September 07, 2009 @11:39AM (#29341437)

    I for one welcome our new carnivorous galaxy overlords ... or whatever that other puny galaxy is made out of.

    But perhaps it's just some twisted form of galactic Darwinism, the weak die (or get consumed or whatever) while the big and buff galaxies prospers.

    Alternativly perhaps space isn't even really endless at all but instead quite finite and Andromeda just needed some galactic lebensraum?

  • by davidwr (791652) on Monday September 07, 2009 @11:40AM (#29341453) Homepage Journal

    1) is the takeover hostile or friendly
    2) if it happened in this galaxy would it be subject to regulatory approval, and if so, under whose jurisdiction?

  • We're next!
    • by NumLuck (1632865)
      According to this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7813635.stm [bbc.co.uk], the milky way is roughly the same size as Andromeda. Therefore, we won't be devoured, it will be a nice and slow merging.
      • Obama is trying to justify this merger with an unknown anti-Christian Andromeda galaxy lying to us saying it's going to be a "nice and slow merge but one that needs to be done after getting input from every galaxy" which is of course a lie because the Milky Way and hence the U.S. is going to get devoured and to that I say we should not be showing weakness as a country and we should not be apologizing to strange galaxies invading our turf and we should certainly not be merging with them and extending health
      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        You mean a good fight.

  • Bowwww-chickaaa-bow bow.
  • Is this how we eventually get back to a singularity or will it be after all due to shrinkage... :)

    • by kamatsu (969795)

      Why should we all eventually get back to singularity?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by selven (1556643)
      This is local. What's happening on a global (ok, universal) scale is that the universe is expanding and after 100 trillion years all the hydrogen will be used up and there will be no more stars (or at least very few of them) and 10^whatever years after that the universe will just be a bunch of black holes slowly oozing out Hawking radiation. Very bleak.
      • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Monday September 07, 2009 @02:22PM (#29343077)

        the universe will just be a bunch of black holes slowly oozing out Hawking radiation. Very bleak.

        That's why I plant to commit suicide on my 99-trillionth birthday.

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Of extrapolating the piecewise, nonlinear, curve, careful you should be.

      • Re:Shrinkage (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot@@@castlesteelstone...us> on Monday September 07, 2009 @03:25PM (#29343639) Homepage Journal

        This is local. What's happening on a global (ok, universal) scale is that the universe is expanding and after 100 trillion years all the hydrogen will be used up and there will be no more stars (or at least very few of them) and 10^whatever years after that the universe will just be a bunch of black holes slowly oozing out Hawking radiation. Very bleak.

        So says the species that still thinks there is "Dark matter" and "dark energy" out there somewhere.

        Physicists don't like to dwell on this point when summarizing what their research accomplished, but we really don't know enough to be definitive about how the universe will evolve. To wit: our LOCAL time-cone appears to be expanding, and if (1) this observation is correct, (2) the universe is homogenous to our time-cone, and (3) there isn't some exterior force pushing us together, then we'll all wind up in a cold death in the end.

        For all we know, the vacuum of space might just have a slight red-tint to it, causing this "red-shift" that makes us think the universe is expanding. It's not like we have rulers or anything.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dargaud (518470)

          For all we know, the vacuum of space might just have a slight red-tint to it, causing this "red-shift" that makes us think the universe is expanding. It's not like we have rulers or anything.

          A red-tint is completely different from a redshift. The rulers are the hydrogen (and other elements) spikes in absorption spectra received from distant starts/galaxies/quasars... But you are right that this dark matter debate is one of the most mysterious in science today. We are in a similar position as with the 'unexplainable' results of the Michelson-Morley experiments over a century ago. It will probably get solved by a guy saying: "Look, it's really simple, just consider this..." like Einstein did with

  • Closest? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I thought Andromeda was only the closest /spiral/ galaxy. There are other satellite galaxies rotating around the Milky Way which are closer in distance than Andromeda.

  • by PPH (736903) on Monday September 07, 2009 @12:15PM (#29341911)
    ... looks remarkably similar to a belch sound.
  • Andromeda Devouring Neighbor Galaxy

    Long ago and far away, a distant galaxy devoured another.

  • Might I suggest that upon future occasions when such behaviour is observed, especially when it is captured on film, that we refer to the act of one galaxy gobbling down another as a "Glow Job".

  • by Jon Abbott (723) on Monday September 07, 2009 @02:41PM (#29343263) Homepage

    I know from watching the xscreensaver 'galaxy' that these galaxies will both destroy each other. That is almost always how it happens in the screensaver, so it must be that way in real life.

  • I cannot believe the callous attitude shown by others on this board. Here we have a clear act of wanton aggression on a neighbor, and we do nothing? Where is the outrage? Where is the protesting in the streets? Why are we not contacting the Andromedan Embassy? We can't just sit here and watch it happen, we must do something! Just because this happened 2.5 million years ago is no reason to sit on the sideline. We must ACT!

  • Has anyone considered the possibility that the little galaxy has a plan? Maybe it's infused with negative-spin tachyonic dark energy type X that will cause Andromeda to implode. Then who will devour whom? Bwaha etc etc

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