Gallactic Collision!!

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Dr. Spitzer
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Gallactic Collision!!

Post by Dr. Spitzer »

Check out what Spitzer found:
Four galaxies are slamming into each other and kicking up billions of stars in one of the largest cosmic smash-ups ever observed.

The clashing galaxies, spotted by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, will eventually merge into a single, behemoth galaxy up to 10 times as massive as our own Milky Way. This rare sighting provides an unprecedented look at how the most massive galaxies in the universe form.

"Most of the galaxy mergers we already knew about are like compact cars crashing together," said Kenneth Rines of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass. "What we have here is like four sand trucks smashing together, flinging sand everywhere." Rines is lead author of a new paper accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters.


for the rest: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/Media/re ... ease.shtml

its amazing to think about how huge all this stuff is...

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zackae
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Post by zackae »

wow this is absolutely incredible. If it would be possble a picture of them merging in motion could be posted to actually see how similar it is to the simulated versions we have seen before.

nelson_gu
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Post by nelson_gu »

they say that one galaxy is 3-4times as massive as the milk way

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Airconvent
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Post by Airconvent »

interesting. I have read that because there is so much space between the stars in each galaxy, when they interact, only a possible maximum few of billions of stars actually have risk of collision. The rest just danced around each other and eventually seek gravitational equilibrium.
In fact recently on space.com, I read an article in which astronomers suspected our milky way has already swallowed some dwarf galaxies and is possibly doing it again right now. In anycase, we will merge andromeda in the distance future too....
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zackae
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Post by zackae »

Currently there are 2 dwarf galaxies in which the milky way's gravity is stripping the stars of them. They should be at the other end of the milky way, the Canis Major Dwarf and the Sagittarius dwarf elliptical galaxies.

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Sam Lee
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Post by Sam Lee »

Usually during merging of galaxies, the most interesting happening are a sudden surge of star formations within nebula clouds. The change in grativation from the galactic collision causes the hydrogen clouds to collapse and form stars.
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zackae
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Post by zackae »

Whoa! That would be real interesting to witness. Thanks for info sam. Hey I learnt something today!

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Airconvent
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Post by Airconvent »

Sam Lee wrote:Usually during merging of galaxies, the most interesting happening are a sudden surge of star formations within nebula clouds. The change in grativation from the galactic collision causes the hydrogen clouds to collapse and form stars.
Hi Sam,
How can this happen? I would assume the gravitational tug would rip apart nebula and not give it a chance to coagulate into stars. Unless the process is very slow, so the gases of 2 galaxies merge sufficiently long enough for it to collapse and form stars?
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Sam Lee
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Post by Sam Lee »

Although not fully proven , it is widely believed that collisions induce a massive star birth in molecular clouds within the galaxies.
A look at an earlier apotd photo
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap971027.html

According to the records, during galaxy collisions , the molecular clouds will disperse and collapse under it own gravity to form new stars. Astronomers observed large amount of new born stars within star clouds which have yet to disperse.

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Sam
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zackae
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Post by zackae »

The collision of the gas clouds actually happens when the 2 galaxies gravitationally attract each other. This would mean an external force aids in the formation of stars and the collision induces gravitational compression among the gas clouds.

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