Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Gas clouds to "take out" the Milky Way...


meh... clouds...
Originally uploaded by jpstanley.
... and that may (or may not) include us, here on earth.

Dave Finley at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which is a facility of the National Science Foundation, tells us it's going to be fireworks.
A giant cloud of hydrogen gas is speeding toward a collision with our Milky Way Galaxy, and when it hits .... it may set off a spectacular burst of stellar fireworks.

"The leading edge of this cloud is already interacting with gas from our Galaxy," said Felix J. Lockman, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), leader of a team of astronomers who used the National Science Foundation's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to study the object. The scientists presented their findings to the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Austin, Texas.
Don't pack your bags and look for a ride off this rock just yet... It's not due too soon... not for another 40 million years or so.

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