Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fun Astronomy Fact #1

This is the Andromeda Galaxy (M31):

This is the galaxy closest to the Milky Way and can be found in the constellation Andromeda. Like the Milky Way, it is a spiral galaxy, with a central hub of stars surrounded by spiral arms (two in the case of Andromeda).

The Milky Way is on a crash course with Andromeda, scheduled to impact around 4 billion years from now.*

It's not a particularly worrying scenario, what with it being 4 billion years and a rather large situation out of human control. But I do enjoy the thought of it getting closer, letting us maybe have a little better look at it. Yeah, it won't be noticeable in our lifetimes, but maybe our ancestors will be able to see it easily in the sky. Maybe not, but you have to admit it's a nice thought.

*Info courtesy of A Year of the Stars by Fred Schaaf

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