Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to Socialism or regression into Barbarism.
- Rosa Luxemburg, "Junius Pamphlet" 1916

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Long time passing: NASA on the fate of the Milky Way

NASA simulation of future night sky on Earth.

Data from NASA's Hubble space telescope reveals that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies will collide with each other, beginning about 4 billion years from now. The two galaxies will merge into one, over the course of the subsequent three billion years. By which time, Earth will have been swallowed by its aging red giant sun.

The night sky in the few million years before the collision will look like the picture above, according to NASA. The swirl of light is the Andromeda galaxy, filling our sky, stretched by gravitational forces to a much different shape.

Whether through evolution or catastrophe, human beings won't be around to see the sight. But we imagined it, in the time we had.

None of which has anything to do with ecological crisis or the other topics of this blog. Except maybe in the broad, philosophical sense. Nothing lasts forever. Not the stars, or the sky, or those who look up.

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