At the Ref Desk (8/13/18): Complaints upstairs about someone playing the trumpet in one of the computer labs. Oy. [more...]

Total Bummer: Our Galaxy to Go Bust

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 5/20/07 (7:18pm)

As if we didn't have enough trouble:

Scientists think galactic mergers are one of the primary ways galaxies form. Like heated wax in a lava lamp, two small galaxies can come together to form one larger one, or a blob of gas and stars might pinch off during a particularly messy galactic smash-up and, over cosmic time, the result evolves into a diminutive dwarf galaxy.

Our own Milky Way galaxy is expected to collide and merge with its neighbor Andromeda in a few billion years to form a large elliptical galaxy some scientists jokingly call "Milkomeda" or "Andromeda Way." When that occurs, a black hole merger similar to that of NGC 6420 could occur. ["Merging Black Holes Observed in New Detail "]