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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Here Comes The Milkomedia
Hugh Bollinger

Here Comes The Milkomedia

Andromeda galaxy seen in UV light (credit: JPL/NASA)

The Milky Way's galactic next door neighbor, 2.5 million light years off, is the Andromeda galaxy. An image of this spiral galaxy was created by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory using data gathered with ultraviolet (UV) and visible light. The resulting JPL visualization shows intense star formation with Andromeda's rings appearing to show the giant galaxy had previously collided with a smaller star cluster more than 200 million years ago. Andromeda became one massive galaxy in the process.

The Milky Way and Andromeda are racing towards each other and will combine in a far distant future. That outcome was confirmed using measurements made by the Hubble space telescope which tracked the movements of stars within Andromeda. Another new, and even more massive galaxy, the Milkomedia, will result about 4 billion years from now. Galaxies are mostly empty space so collisions of stars will be rare. The night sky will be remarkable from all perspectives if anyone is around to view the new heavenly arrangements in that far distant era. WHB

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