Friday, June 01, 2012

Bank holiday weekends and galactic annihilation

I noticed this cheery little story on the BBC science site today; all I can imagine is that some mischievous rationalist somewhere in the bowels of the BBC (because obviously all the best jobs in the BBC are given to arts graduates) thought they'd pour some cold reason onto the excited emotional frenzy that is the jubilee bank holiday weekend by doing the equivalent of a scientific "Harold Camping" prediction about the end of the world, only being scientific of course it actually has some tangible evidence for it.

The picture shows the night sky as it might be 3.7 billion years from now as our nearest neighbouring galaxy (Andromeda) collides with our own galaxy (the Milky Way) Data from the Hubble space telescope predicts that these two cosmic bodies are being inextricably drawn toward each other. Even though we're moving toward each other at a speed of 250,000mph there probably won't be an "impact" as such more of a gradual mash up where gravity slowly merges the two structures together into one. We shouldn't worry too much about being destroyed by this collision but we can't rest on our laurels because by then our Sun will nearly be out of Hydrogen fuel so will explode anyway vaporizing the entire solar system and destroying every shred of evidence that our planet or human beings ever existed.

Have a nice day.


Chairman Bill said...

What I want to know is whether we're going to have to re-map the Alpha Quadrant.

Steve Borthwick said...

Not only that CB, we'll need to remake the whole Star Trek series..