Post by Tennesseer on Jul 26, 2019 15:59:33 GMT -5
Hubble captured gorgeous snapshot of a massive distant galaxy
Thanks to the nature of light and the fact that it can only move so fast, peering at objects far away means that astronomers can effectively look back in time. Well, “can” is a bit of an understatement since they’re quite literally forced to see things as they were, based on how far away the subject they’re observing is.
In the case of the Hubble Space Telescope’s observations of the distant spiral galaxy NGC 2985, that means seeing the galaxy as it was over 70 million years ago. In a new blog post, NASA highlights a particularly stunning image of the far-away galaxy, and it sure is pretty.
NASA says that galaxies like this have a habit of running into other galaxies, slamming their arms into one another and eventually merging into a single form.
The Milky Way is also a spiral galaxy and it’s believed that it will merge with the galaxy Andromeda in the distant future. These mergers happen over huge periods of time, and it won’t begin for around 4.5 billion years.
Probably not worth worrying about. It is possible that humans will have found a way to destroy themselves (and possibly the planet) by then.
In any event, galaxies are actually made up of a mostly empty space, so it is likely that there will be no direct impact with Earth by anything in the Andromeda galaxy. There could be gravitational effects and other anomalies occasioned by the proximity of passing celestial bodies, so that could produce interesting results. The Earth could be captured by another star or flung out into space as a lonely rogue planet or eaten by the black hole at the center of the Andromeda galaxy (on its way to joint up with the black hole at the center of our galaxy).
ETA: And even if we do get smushed in the Milkomeda merger, we will become stardust and our atoms will become part of someone else's beginning. I'm okay with that.
EATA: The view number when I added the above was 42.