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Andromeda Devouring Neighbor Galaxy 60

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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  • by Xeriar ( 456730 ) on Monday September 07, 2009 @12:33PM (#29341359) Homepage

    This is just a model for one galaxy nomming another. God - whether such an entity exists or not - has nothing to do with it, it's an entirely natural motion, predicted, expected, and surprising no one with sufficient education.

  • Re:Not quite (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 07, 2009 @12:49PM (#29341557)

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

  • Re:Shrinkage (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Planesdragon ( 210349 ) <slashdot AT castlesteelstone DOT us> on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:25PM (#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:Shrinkage (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dargaud ( 518470 ) <slashdot2 AT gdargaud DOT net> on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @06:26AM (#29348995) Homepage

    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 "the speed of light is fixed, no matter the referential... and here are the consequences"

The only perfect science is hind-sight.