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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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  • Not quite (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Monday September 07, 2009 @12:35PM (#29341383)

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

  • Re:Shrinkage (Score:3, Interesting)

    by selven ( 1556643 ) on Monday September 07, 2009 @01:08PM (#29341815)
    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.
  • Re:Not quite (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dintlu ( 1171159 ) on Monday September 07, 2009 @01:09PM (#29341841)

    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:Not quite (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:44PM (#29343779)

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

  • by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <jwsmythe@jws[ ] ['myt' in gap]> on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:47PM (#29343821) Homepage Journal

        If "god" is a factor in random events happening in the universe, next time you buy a lottery ticket and lose, or find your home galaxy is being engulfed by another galaxy, you have someone to blame.

        It's always good to have someone to blame, rather than accepting the fact that random events do happen. And yes, it was "god" that made the bird shit on your car today, just after you washed it.

        Now, if I was able to take a ship to observe the collision, that would be awe inspiring, but would not make me believe in the mysterious invisible entity in the sky of your choice. And, regardless of which "god" entity you chose, you're then declaring everyone of a different belief to be wrong. That is, unless you're always right, and the universe is packed with souls that are obviously not as smart as you, unless they believe your way.

  • Re:Not quite (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <jwsmythe@jws[ ] ['myt' in gap]> on Monday September 07, 2009 @04:54PM (#29343883) Homepage Journal

        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. :)


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