Friday, April 25, 2008

When galaxies collide

A little perspective on our own little woes du jour:



Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)

And more here.

But most likely our own little woes and clashes of civilisations will get us before one of these big buggers does, according to this news release:
Astronomers observe only one out of a million galaxies in the nearby universe in the act of colliding. However, galaxy mergers were much more common long ago when they were closer together, because the expanding universe was smaller.

For all their violence, galactic smash-ups take place at a glacial rate by human standards - timescales on the order of several hundred million years.

So, you just keep hanging on, Little Tomato.

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