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We’re Living Next Door To A Cannibal Galaxy Whose Violent Past Has Been Revealed

A study of the small galaxies swallowed by our nearest large galactic neighbor has revealed something of how galaxies grow. In the process, it has hinted at something that, if true, would change the way we see the universe in profound ways.

All galaxies, including our own Milky Way, grow by consuming smaller ones. Inevitably, the nearest large galaxy to our own, M31, also known as Andromeda, has eaten many small neighbors. Our first insight into the nature of these events is useful because Andromeda and the Milky Way are on course to meet. That’s 4 billion years away, but it’s good to be prepared.

Dr Dougal Mackey of the Australian National University and Professor Geraint Lewis from the University of Sydney analyzed streams of stars within Andromeda’s halo and identified some as the remnants of galaxies, even gaining approximations of when this occurred. Rather than a steady process, they identified two bursts separated by billions of years. The galaxies in the two rounds arrived at right angles to each other and maintained that motion even after being pulled apart.

“We are cosmic archaeologists, except we are digging through the fossils of long-dead galaxies rather than human history,” Lewis said in a statement.

Mackey told IFLScience the consumed galaxies contained globular clusters, groups of stars bound so closely together that only the most powerful gravitational disruptions pull them apart.

Individual stars in Andromeda’s halo are usually too distant and faint for us to track their movements, but the clusters are a different matter, allowing the pair to identify in Nature the streams whose shared movements pin them as past galaxies.

“Once you get below a certain mass, galaxies don’t contain globular clusters,” Mackey said, so the smallest are currently untraceable. However, he added that the contribution of these to Andromeda’s growth was minor.

One day, Andromeda will swallow the Milky Way as well. However, Mackey acknowledged to IFLScience this will be a very different process. The galaxies Andromeda has eaten up until now have masses a tenth of its total at most, usually much smaller. The Milky Way, on the other hand, is at least half Andromeda’s size.

The merger of the two will destroy the spiral structure of each, creating an egg-like elliptical galaxy. By then, the Sun will have burned the Earth beyond recognition, but if humanity somehow survives elsewhere, consequences will be limited. Our view of the night sky will change utterly, but the space between the stars is so great that even when stars from Andromeda become mixed among our nearest neighbors, it is unlikely any will pass close enough to disrupt orbits within the inner solar system.

One feature of the pair’s work is still tentative but could turn out to be awe-inspiring. Around a decade ago astronomers noticed a curious pattern in the dwarf galaxies that surround Andromeda. Around half these galaxies orbit in a specific plane, something astronomers had not expected and struggled to explain. We now know this pattern is unstable, and can neither have been in place for a long time (astronomically speaking) or have lasted that far into the future.

This study found that some of the swallowed galaxy remnants conform to the same pattern, but surprisingly, it is the much older set that do this, rather than the more recent arrival. This suggests these long-lost galaxies also once lay in a similar plane, indicating an abiding underlying structure to the local area of the universe. The most likely explanation is the universe is made up of a web of dark matter filaments and Andromeda lies on one of these, with gravity so powerful it aligns the movement of clusters of small galaxies.

Source www.iflscience.com

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Space

NASA published pictures of two giant asteroids

NASA published an amazing image of two giant asteroids traveling in the asteroid belt, both of which are larger than some of the cities in the world.

The American Space Agency shared a snapshot that tracks the movement of the large asteroids Lina and Klotho, located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The Lina is about 37 miles (60 km) in diameter and has more than 2,000 days in orbit around the Sun. Klotho is slightly larger, having 50.9 miles (82 km) in diameter and has a 1596-day orbit around our main star.

NASA observed space rocks using the NEOWISE telescope. He also states on his official website:

“appearing as rows of orange dots, the brightest sets of dots belong to the asteroids of Klotho and Lina. Both rotate in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, while smaller and more distant asteroids can also be seen on this image ”

These space objects were photographed by NEOWISE as part of the Wise mission (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) asteroid hunting project. 

Cosmic stones within the asteroid belt supposedly pose almost no danger to the Earth, due to the role that Jupiter plays in the solar system. The giant planet has such a powerful gravitational attraction that it actually helps to keep the asteroid belt in place, so objects do not travel throughout the system.

If Jupiter did not use its gravitational pull on these objects in the belt, the inner planets would be constantly at risk of collisions with large asteroids.

“The presence of Jupiter actually protects Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars from repeated collisions with asteroids!”, The NASA statement said.

The probability of a major asteroid colliding with the Earth is one in 300,000 chance. However, such a prospect is possible, NASA says.

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Space

A “Meteorite” falls in Nigeria destroying more than 100 houses and leaving a huge crater

On the morning of Saturday 28 March 2020, a large meteorite crashed in Akure (Nigeria), destroying more than 100 houses and leaving a 21-meter crater on the ground. Experts from the Awbaowo University of Obafemi (Nigeria) denied the local police who initially claimed that a bomb explosion had created the 21-meter crater.

According to Nigerian sources, the explosion destroyed the Akure-OVO road and seriously damaged dozens of houses, from 50 to 100, as well as schools and churches.

It is interesting that initially the authorities denied the meteorite’s fall and claimed that the cause for the explosion was a truck with explosives, which was transported to a neighboring state. Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu said the blast was an accident.

Then the version changed and the truck was no longer just transporting explosives, but it was supposedly a terrorist act.

Now, a team of experts and scientists came to the conclusion that everything that happened was a fall of a large meteorite.

The blast that shook Akure, the state capital of Ondo, on Saturday, was caused by a giant cosmic rock, a team of experts concluded.

Led by Adepelumi Adekunle, a professor of geophysics and seismic engineering at Obafemi Avolovo University, the team said that the meteorite entered the atmosphere of our planet at a “43 degree angle”.

Adepelumi Adekunle’s report reads:

“My research team conducted a detailed analysis of the impact site. A round impact crater was discovered with a diameter of 21 m and a depth of 7.8 m, which indicates a natural phenomenon.

– It was found that water is oozing from the edges of the crater. Preliminary field studies of vibration, noise, seismicity, analysis of water, radioactivity, rocks and soil were carried out.

“Our findings suggest that the impact of the explosion covers a radius of 1 km from the vicinity of the crater.” No signs of fire or burning were found in the vicinity. “

“No signs of radioactive radiation were found within the crater and in the immediate vicinity of it. Field data indicate that a meteorite from the asteroid belt was moving at high speed from space, and fell at an angle of 43 degrees in the southwestern part of the country “

A local source said that after the incident, no one was missing and no one was killed. The most interesting thing in the report is the mention that “unusual stones and strange metal objects” were found inside the crater. So what actually fell in Nigeria – a meteorite or a UFO?

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Space

Something strange is happening with the interstellar comet 2I / Borisov

When astronomers see something in the Universe that at first glance seems to be one of a kind, this will certainly cause great excitement and attention.

This mysterious guest from the depths of space first attracted the attention of celestial observers at the end of August 2019, when it was officially discovered sweeping through the solar system along a trajectory indicating interstellar origin.

After analyzing the object, astronomers identified it as a comet called Comet 21 / Borisov, which is the first identified comet and the second observable interstellar alien after the infamous Oumuamua, who arrived here from another star.

NASA claims that they do not know where and when the comet began to move towards our Sun. Gravity of the Sun slightly deflects its trajectory, but cannot capture it due to the shape of the orbit and its high speed of about 160,934 km / h.

Hubble showed that the comet’s heart, a loose accumulation of ice and dust particles, was probably no more than 975 meters across, about the length of nine football fields.

Now, this month, astronomers have discovered that something strange is happening by checking the object.

In the next video, nemesis maturity explains what happens to this mysterious interstellar guest.

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