Home > Ephemeris Program, Galaxies > 11/14/2014 – Ephemeris – When Galaxies collide… With ours (Gulp)

11/14/2014 – Ephemeris – When Galaxies collide… With ours (Gulp)

November 14, 2014

Ephemeris for Friday, November 14th.  The sun will rise at 7:37.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 37 minutes, setting at 5:15.   The moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 12:33 tomorrow morning.

Yesterday we looked at the closest spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way, the Great Andromeda Galaxy.  I said that it would collide with the Milky Way in about 4 billion years.  Usually no stars are harmed by such a collision.  What does collide are the dust and gasses in each galaxy, that will trigger a burst of star formation.  Over the next several billion years the two galaxies will probably merge into one giant elliptical galaxy.  The sun at that time will see some changes of life the too.  The Earth would by then be uninhabitable because the sun would be too hot, and by then would begin to bloat out into a red giant star.  It would be a great spectacle, but no one would be around  to watch it.  However there are many distant colliding galaxies to watch.

Closer to home, Saturday night there will be a star party at NMC’s Rogers Observatory starting at 9 p.m.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The Great Andromeda Galaxy (M31). Image taken by Scott Anttila.

The Great Andromeda Galaxy (M31). Image taken by Scott Anttila.

Here’s a link to a YouTube video of a computer simulation of the collision of the Andromeda galaxy with our Milky Way galaxy.

 

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