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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘andromeda galaxy

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Ryan Anderson writes at anthro{dendum} about how the counterhistory of Vine Deloria transformed his thinking.
  • Architectuul notes some interesting architectural experiments from the post-WW2 United Kingdom.
  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait notes the distinctive dustiness of Large Magellanic Cloud globular cluster NGC 1898.
  • The Big Picture shares photos from the worldwide student walkout on climate change.
  • Corey Robin writes at Crooked Timber about ethics in economics.
  • The Crux points its readers to the space art of Chesley Bonestell.
  • D-Brief considers the possibility that the distinction between the sounds “f” and “v” might be a product of the soft food produced by the agricultural revolution.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes a new study suggesting there might be fifty billion free-floating planets in the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Gizmodo considers the self-appointed archivists of obscure information on the Internet.
  • Information is Beautiful shares an informative infographic analyzing the factors that go into extending one’s life expectancy.
  • Paul Campos at Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the American system simply cannot be expected to contain the fascist impulses of Donald Trump indefinitely.
  • Marginal Revolution considers the future evolution of a more privacy-conscious Facebook.
  • The Planetary Society Blog considers the nature of the skies of mini-Neptunes.
  • Drew Rowsome reviews the Kirsten McKenzie horror novel Painted.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers the possibility that the Milky Way Galaxy, despite having fewer stars than Andromeda, might be more massive.

[NEWS] Five space science links: Neptunian Trojans, FarFarOut, Planet 9, black holes, M31N 2008-12a

  • What is up with the unexpectedly colourful Neptunian Trojan asteroids? Scientific American reports.
  • Universe Today notes the very recent discovery of outer system body FarFarOut, 140 astronomical units away.
  • Universe Today looks at the latest evidence for the existence of Planet Nine, in the twisted orbits of outer solar system bodies.
  • Daily Galaxy notes that a hundred million black holes, almost all of them unknown to us, likely exist in the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Evan Gough at Universe Today reports on the mysterious recurring nova M31N 2008-12a, exploding once a year off in the Andromeda Galaxy.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes the good news: The Andromeda Galaxy will collide with the Milky Way in 4.5 billion years, not 3.9 billion!
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that a new Chinese ground station built in Argentina has not made the promised outreach to locals, with no visitors’ centre and rumours aplenty.
  • Karen Sternheimer at the Everyday Sociology Blog explains the importance of doing literature reviews.
  • Far Outliers notes the Pakhtuns, a Muslim ethnicity of the British Raj in what is now Pakistan noteworthy for being a major source of recruits in the Indian Army.
  • L.M. Sacasas at The Frailest Thing notes Iris Murdoch, particularly her emphasis on learning as a process of engaging with something greater on its terms.
  • Gizmodo reports on how space sciences appreciate the work done by the noble rover Opportunity on Mars.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at how early 20th century African-American artists have represented Haiti in the works.
  • Language Hat takes note of some of the mechanisms by which linguistics can neglect the study of indigenous languages.
  • Language Log takes a look at the Latin motto of the University of Pennsylvania, a source still of unintentional humour.
  • Marginal Revolution takes a look at the high levels of dysfunction in Nigeria, from fighting between herders and farmers to the incapacity of the national government.
  • The NYR Daily takes a look at the concept of internal exile, starting with Russia and spiraling out into the wider world.
  • Peter Rukavina shares a photo of a payphone that is one of the few remaining used artifacts of old Island Tel.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a paper considering the demographic peculiarities of the societies of the semi-periphery as contrasted to those of the core.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes the surprisingly large amount of information astronomers will be able to extract from the first image of an Earth-like exoplanet.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that North Caucasians in Russia no longer stand out as having higher-than-average birth rates in Russia.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Centauri Dreams writes about the ferocious storms of Titan.
  • The Crux reports on the crisis of dark matter: What _is_ it, exactly?
  • D-Brief reports on the particular strangeness around nearby neutron star RX J0806.4–4123, an unusually hot star.
  • Bruce Dorminey reports on a new search for signs of extraterrestrial civilizations using optical telescopes directed towards the Andromeda Galaxy.
  • Far Outliers describes the origins of the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys.
  • A Fistful of Euros considers the future of Angela Merkel in light of the election of Ralph Brinkhaus as joint parliamentary leader of the CDU and CSU in Germany.
  • Language Hat reports on an unexpected connection, dynastically and culturally, between the last of Anglo-Saxon England and very early Kiev.
  • Language Hat shares a sample of Vietnamese text written without diacritics.
  • The NYR Daily shares a first-hand experience of a patient with the famed Mayo Clinic.
  • Roads and Kingdoms reports on a meal of zaru soba in Tokyo.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers what the universe looks like when the second generation of stars began to form.
  • Frank Jacobs at Strange Maps shares a canonical map of the planet of Gethen, from the Ursula LK. Le Guin classic The Left Hand of Darkness, made by Le Guin herself.
  • At Understanding Society, Daniel Little talks about the lessons that he has taken from his study of technological failures, tracing many back to theoretically chartable organizational deficiencies.
  • Window on Eurasia notes some late Stalinist deportations of Russians in districts bordering the Baltics, suggesting this may have been connected to the plans of Beria to establish the Baltics as satellite states separate from the USSR.
  • Arnold Zwicky links to a collection of papers examining imperfect rhymes.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait tells the story of how the Andromeda Galaxy ate most of its Local Group partner two billion years ago, M32p.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at what the preponderance of water worlds–worlds with vast amounts of water–mean for life.
  • Corey Robin at Crooked Timber links to an essay of his noting that the Avital Ronell scandal reveals deep problems inside academia.
  • D-Brief notes reactions involving protons that play a major role in powering neutron stars.
  • Bruce Dorminey shares five questions about the universe that bug–productively, I think–astrobiologists.
  • The Dragon’s Tales examines the challenges facing the proposal by Modi for the creation of a manned Indian space program within a decade.
  • Colby King writes at the Everyday Sociology Blog about challenges facing students building social networks. How broad and diverse can they be?
  • David Finger at the Finger Post writes, and shows, a one-day trip to Cuzco.
  • Hornet Stories starts a fun discussion on heroic monsters. I’m pleased to say that the Addams Family ranked highly.
  • Information is Beautiful shares a new infographic exploring what, exactly, a trillion dollar is.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at how, not just the concept of the Mediterranean as a unified region, but of the Mediterranean as uniquely attractive, came about.
  • The LRB Blog reports from the Edinburgh Fringe, where the Brexit-themed play Leave. To Remain is playing.
  • Ryan Holmberg at the NYR Daily looks at how manga in Japan have dealt with nuclear danger before and after Fukushima, looking particular at the work of Susumu Katsumata.
  • Strange Company tells the story of the strange hauntings that beset, in mid-19th century Normandy, the Château des Noyers.
  • Towleroad shares a video of older gay men reacting to the definitely out videos of queer pop singer Troye Sivan.
  • At Understanding Society, Daniel Little takes a look at the arguments of Andrew Hopkins regarding safety culture in an enterprise versus safety behaviour.
  • Window on Eurasia notes a continued Russian threat, post-Crimea, to Ukrainian sovereignty in its territorial waters on the Sea of Azov and elsewhere.
  • Arnold Zwicky notes the impending end of summer, between flowers and sex and more.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Crux takes a look at some of the lost moons of the early solar system, including those of Jupiter, Saturn inward of Titan, and Neptune before its encounter with Triton.
  • D-Brief notes that, in its relatively warm and watery youth, the Moon could conceivably have supported life.
  • Dangerous Minds shares photos, and a precise, of the ball–the Diner de Têtes Surrealistes–thrown in 1972 by the Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and her husband Guy at the Château de Ferrières outside of Paris.
  • Jonathan Wynn at the Everyday Sociology Blog takes a look at how students’ race can complicate the act of studying abroad. http://www.everydaysociologyblog.com/2018/07/race-and-studying-abroad.html
  • Imageo notes the heat wave aggravating forest fires in California and Oregon.
  • JSTOR Daily considers if, perhaps, the Ford Pinto received an undeservedly negative reputation from its contemporaries.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money links to a Matthew Yglesias analysis about the usability of swing voters in the American context.
  • At the LRB Blog, Anne Orford draws from the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki the argument that international politics is much too important to be decided by two men alone and their translators.
  • The Map Room Blog shares some remarkable infrared images of Titan, looking beneath that world’s clouds.
  • Marginal Revolution notes one report suggesting that oil revenues could lead to a tripling of the size of the GDP of Guyana in five years.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel illustrates the discovery of an ancient galaxy almost entirely absorbed into the Andromeda Galaxy, M32p.
  • Towleroad reviews the new Broadway play Straight White Men, which has an interesting take on this hitherto-dominant portion of North American society.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares photos of rings around a distant galaxy’s central black hole.
  • Inspired by Finland’s Olympic team, the Toronto Public Library’s The Buzz shares some interesting books on knitting and for knitters.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the surprising news that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies actually have the same mass. This changes everything about what was thought about the future of the Local Group. D-Brief also reports on this news.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how the conversion of tobacco fields into solar farms is not just potentially life-saving but economically viable, too.
  • Language Hat rounds up links relevant to the discovery, by field linguists, of the Malaysian language of Jedek.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, shares a story from Lucy Ferris of Paris of old and the bookstore Shakespeare and Company.
  • The LRB Blog notes that the privatization of military officers’ housing in the United Kingdom was another disaster.
  • Marginal Revolution considers if Los Angeles is the most right-wing major American city, and what that actually means.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that, even in the face of subsidence in Groningen around gas fields and cheap wind energy, even the Netherlands is not moving away from oil and gas.
  • Drew Rowsome reports on porn star/actor Chris Harder and his new show, Porn To Be A Star. (NSFW.)
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel examines the factors which distinguish a good scientific theory from a bad one.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy makes a decent argument that the politicized pop culture fandom around supreme court judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg is not good for the future of jurisprudence.
  • John Scalzi, at Whatever, reviews the new Pixel Buds from Google.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares a stunning photo of two galaxies colliding in the eternal night and considers the implications of the Milky Way’s future encounter with Andromeda.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the latest discoveries regarding FRB 121102 and fast radio bursts generally.
  • Hornet Stories suggests that a recent ruling by the Inter American Court of Human Rights sets the stage for marriage equality across Latin America.
  • Inkfish notes that the biomass of dead squid mothers plays a major role in the environments and ecologies of seafloors.
  • JSTOR Daily suggests retirees can actually learn a lot from the lifestyles of members of the RV–recreational vehicle–community.
  • Language Hat reports on wordplay, and its translations, in the works of Homer.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the turn to anti-intellectualism among American conservatives.
  • At Lingua Franca, William Germano talks about telling numbers.
  • The LRB Blog notes the story of the English village of Imber, intentionally depopulated by the British military during the Second World War and never allowed to be restored.
  • The NYR Daily talks about a London exhibition on the art of our era of terrorism and terror.
  • The Planetary Society Blog reports on the latest Juno discoveries from Jupiter.
  • Progressive Download’s John Farrell reports on a debate as to whether the origin of life is a more difficult question than the origin of consciousness.
  • Roads and Kingdoms reports on the simple pleasures of an iced coffee enjoyed in the Australian Outback.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel U>considers an interesting question: is ours the only advanced civilization in the universe?
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little tackles the concept of organizational cultures.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that post-1991 immigrants from the former Soviet Union form a tenth of the Russian labour force.

[NEWS] Some Tuesday links

  • The Inter Press Service suggests climate change is contributing to a severe drought in Nicaragua.
  • Reuters notes China’s plan to implement sanctions against North Korea.
  • Atlas Obscura explores the now-defunct medium of vinyl movies.
  • Science goes into detail about the findings that many pre-contact American populations did not survive conquest at all.
  • CBC notes evidence that salmon prefer dark-walled tanks.
  • Universe Today notes the discovery of a spinning neutron star in the Andromeda Galaxy.
  • Vice’s Motherboard notes how Angolan users of free limited-access internet sites are sharing files through Wikipedia.
  • MacLean’s notes how an ordinary British Columbia man’s boudoir photos for his wife have led to a modelling gig.

[BLOG-LIKE POSTING] On the impending union of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies

Our Milky Way Galaxy and the Andromeda Galaxy 2.6 million light years away from us are the two largest components of the Local Group, a cluster of more than four dozen galaxies and assorted debris bound by mutual gravitation. (It’s still open to debate whether the Milky Way Galaxy is the more massive of the two, or whether the most massive is the Andromeda Galaxy. The most recent estimates of star numbers and total mass I’ve seen suggest that the Andromeda Galaxy might have more, but less massive, stars than our galaxy, and that the two galaxies are roughly equal in mass.)

For some time, measurements of the movement of the Andromeda Galaxy relative to our own have suggested that the two largest galaxies in the Local Group are set to collide. What was unknown was the way in which it would collide. Would it be a head-on collision, or something more glancing, or perhaps even a near miss? Universe Today’s Nancy Atkinson explains that it’s going to be a direct collision.

Astronomers have known for years that our Milky Way and its closest neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, (a.k.a M31) are being pulled together in a gravitational dance, but no one was sure whether the galaxies would collide head-on or glide past one another. Precise measurements from the Hubble Space Telescope have now confirmed that the two galaxies are indeed on a collision course, headed straight for a colossal cosmic collision.

No need to panic for the moment, as this is not going to happen for another four billion years. And while astronomers say it is likely the Sun will be flung into a different region of our galaxy, Earth and the solar system will probably just go along for the ride and are in no danger of being destroyed.

“In the ‘worst-case-scenario’ simulation, M31 slams into the Milky Way head-on and the stars are all scattered into different orbits,” said team member Gurtina Besla of Columbia University in New York, N.Y. “The stellar populations of both galaxies are jostled, and the Milky Way loses its flattened pancake shape with most of the stars on nearly circular orbits. The galaxies’ cores merge, and the stars settle into randomized orbits to create an elliptical-shaped galaxy.”

The simulations Besla was talking about came from precise measurements by Hubble, painstakingly determining the motion of Andromeda, looking particularly at the sideways motion of M31, which until now has not been able to be done.

“This was accomplished by repeatedly observing select regions of the galaxy over a five- to seven-year period,” said Jay Anderson of STScI.

[. . .]

Of course, the collision is not like a head-on between two cars that takes place in an instant. Hubble data show that it will take an additional two billion years after the encounter for the interacting galaxies to completely merge under the tug of gravity and reshape into a single elliptical galaxy similar to the kind commonly seen in the local universe.

Astronomers said the stars inside each galaxy are so far apart that they will not collide with other stars during the encounter. However, the stars will be thrown into different orbits around the new galactic center. Simulations show that our solar system will probably be tossed much farther from the galactic core than it is today.

There’s also the complication of M31′s small companion, the Triangulum galaxy, M33. This galaxy will join in the collision and perhaps later merge with the M31/Milky Way pair. There is a small chance that M33 will hit the Milky Way first.

The astronomers working on this project said that they were able to make the precise measurements because of the upgraded cameras on Hubble, installed during the final servicing mission. This gave astronomers a long enough time baseline to make the critical measurements needed to nail down M31′s motion.

Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait did a good job outlining the mechanics of the collision.

Over the next few billion years, Andromeda — currently a barely naked-eye object in the northern sky — will grow larger as it approaches. In just under 4 billion years, the mutual gravity from the two galaxies will start to play havoc on each other. The Milky Way and Andromeda are about the same mass, so the effects they will have on each other will be profound. Stars on the outskirts of both galaxies will be drawn out, and long tails or streamers of stars and gas will be flung out.

Then, over a hundred or so million years, the galaxies will physically collide. Stars are small and so far apart on galactic scales that the odds of two stars colliding (or even getting close enough to affect each other or any planets) are actually incredibly small. But gas clouds are huge, light years across, so head-on collisions between them is inevitable. They’ll crash into each other, collapsing, and furiously form new stars. These stars will light up the gas, and from a distance the two galaxies will be seen have long strings of fiercely glowing red gas along their arms, like the Antenna galaxies, shown here.

The two galaxies will probably pass right through each other, pulling apart even as chaos reigns inside each. But the pull of gravity will not be denied. They’ll slow as they draw apart, eventually stop, and fall back in to each other. At that point they’ll merge, becoming a single, larger galaxy. It will probably be an elliptical galaxy, a big fuzzy cotton ball, as opposed to the spiral that each galaxy is now. That will take about two billion years after the initial collision, or six billion years from now.

Interestingly, the Sun will still be around then. It’ll be different, having used up most of its nuclear fuel, and on its way to becoming a red giant. But it’s possible the Earth and other planets will still exist! So it’s possible someone (maybe not resembling humans too much, but still) may yet be around to watch this event unfold.

The Sun’s orbit around the galaxy will change, though. Right now we orbit the Milky Way’s center in a roughly circular path, taking over 200 million years to complete one orbit. According to the models the astronomers developed using the Hubble observations, during the collision the Sun will be flung into a looping elliptical orbit around the new galaxy’s center, taking it farther out than we are now. That may be a good thing: both the Milky Way and Andromeda have supermassive black holes in their cores, and these black holes will merge eventually as well. It’s unclear what will happen when this occurs (though we may become an active galaxy, spewing out huge amounts of energy), but I suspect it’s best to be as far from that as possible when it does!

These new results make me pretty happy. We knew that a collision was inevitable, but the timing has always been a question. In my book Death from the Skies! I wrote a chapter on this event, but based on what was known at the time (just a few years ago!) it was supposed to happen in 1-2 billion years. These new results double that to 4 billion, which means I have a firmer number to quote. Moreover, we didn’t know if it would be a glancing blow at first or a head-on collision, and it looks now like it’s headed right at us.

Plait’s YouTube account hosts a nifty animation of the collision as expected.

By this time, the Earth will be uninhabitable, the warming and expansion of our Sol helping push our homeworld into a Venus-like state. (If nothing interferes, that is.) Everyone commenting on this is right to note that the galaxy formed by this collision would be a spectacular thing to see in our night skies.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 2, 2012 at 4:00 am