Looming galactic collision will rip open the black hole at the Milky Way's center

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    • #10103
      • Total Posts: 11,935


      The end of the Milky Way as we know it may come a few billion years ahead of schedule.

      According to a new paper published Jan. 4 in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, our home galaxy appears to be on a crash course with one of its nearest satellites, the spiral of stars known as the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).

      This cosmic crash, modeled in lovely and terrifying detail by a team of astrophysicists at Durham University in the U.K., could begin as soon as 2 billion years from now — roughly 2 billion to 3 billion years sooner than the long-anticipated collision between the Milky Way and its nearest cosmic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy. (Adjust your doomsday clocks accordingly.)

      While the LMC boasts only about one-twentieth the solar mass of the Milky Way, the collision would nevertheless leave permanent scars on both galaxies, igniting once-dormant black holes, flinging stars quadrillions of miles out of orbit and staining the sky with crackling cosmic radiation.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #10120
      • Total Posts: 180
    • #10217
      • Total Posts: 2,998

      Will Santa still show up?

      Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

    • #10280
      • Total Posts: 9,177

      I had planned to quit in a billion years or so, but that’s not gonna work out.

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