back to article You live in the right galaxy: Milky Way to eat Small Magellanic Cloud even sooner

Astronomers have long known the nearby galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud, was being monstered by the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud. But new imaging captured by the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) has made it clear that the little star-factory has only a handful of billion years left. As the …

  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Thumb Up

    Very interesting stuff

    We may actually start developing software to handle these large images from ASKAP and later SKA in the near future, in a collaboration between the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute and the Johann Bernoulli Institute of the University of Groningen. In particular, we want to develop automatic methods for finding interesting faint objects in the huge mass of data. Huge challenge, and therefore great fun!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We're in for a bit of a shake up anyway

    Andromeda is due to reach us in 4 billion years but will have been seriously disrupting the Milky Way for about a billion years or so before then.

    Wish I could be around to watch but don't think I'll be able to make it.

    1. frank ly

      Re: We're in for a bit of a shake up anyway

      Have your mind-state stored in Amazon AWS then ...... oh, ....wait.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We're in for a bit of a shake up anyway

      You need to quit smoking and start exercising.

      Timescales like this really does highlight the futility of everything, including retyping the word 'exercising' until spell check can work out what I could possibly mean.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: We're in for a bit of a shake up anyway

        Sexorciting?

      2. graeme leggett

        Re: We're in for a bit of a shake up anyway

        Perhaps the enormity of it is what scares people into being flat earthers of young earth creationists.

        Easier to deal with ideas with more readily conceivable distances and time periods.

        1. John Sager

          Re: We're in for a bit of a shake up anyway

          Hard to divine what motivates flat-earthers. Even I can see the earth is round just looking at the container ships at anchor off Felixstowe - you can't see the hull, only the containers. And simple (for a physicist) arguments about potential energy minimisation in a squishy planet under gravitation lead you to a spherical-ish solution.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: We're in for a bit of a shake up anyway

            That's bollocks. When I put squishy pancakes in the frying pan, they don't go spherical, do they?

            Is the Flat Earth Society not some sort of joke? I assumed it was some sort of science believing rational society with an attempt at an amusing name?

            1. handleoclast

              Re: We're in for a bit of a shake up anyway

              Is the Flat Earth Society not some sort of joke?

              Depends which one of the societies you're talking about. One of them was started as a satire on the others, which are very serious about their delusions.

              To get a feel for just how serious these morons are, take a look at this series from youtuber CoolHardLogic debunking them. CHL does other good series too, such as debunking geocentrism (yes, that too has its followers) and The World of Batshit.

              1. graeme leggett

                Re: We're in for a bit of a shake up anyway

                Thumbs up for CoolHardLogic.

                But look at the output for the guy he is (rightfully) taking the piss out of - "Jeranism". The flat earthers are prolific at their low quality "proofs of flat earth" and gather youtube views and comments aplenty. And there was a flat earth conference done in all honesty this year. Now youtubers might be cynically using suckers for easy clicks and some of them on twitter may be trolls, or adolescents doing it for the lols, but many seem all too genuine in their mistaken beliefs.

                Elements feeding their belief include: distrust of government, in the guise of NASA ("the great deceiver"), MSM and so forth, God-botherers believing it's part of Satan's plan to hide evidence of god, bible literalism.

                1. Mark 85 Silver badge

                  Re: We're in for a bit of a shake up anyway

                  Flat Earthers.... meh... My dad always said it takes a lot of fruits and nuts to make a fruitcake and there's lots of those "ingredients" running about the earth.

  3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Well, there goes the neighbourhood.

  4. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    OMG NOOOOOOOO.....

    "You've only got a few billion years, little buddy."

    Oh, "BILLION"... ...Phew.

    I thought that you'd written MILLION, and I was thusly *very* concerned.

  5. The Nazz

    What these flat earthers need ...

    is to take up cycling.

    They'll soon learn the errors of their ways.

    And none of this namby electric motor stuff either.

  6. aberglas

    Amazing to see the SMC (and LMC)

    With the naked eye, you can see them easily in a dark sky. 200,000 light years away. That is a long, long way.

    I have never understood how this is possible. Space must be really, really, really empty to be able to see clearly that far. One spec of dust per cubic giga metre would be enough to obscure the view.

    And with binoculars, you can see the Trianchela nebula making new stars.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Amazing to see the SMC (and LMC)

      The Andromeda galaxy, at 2,500,000 LY distance, can also be seen with the naked eye and as such I believe it's the most distant non-transient1 object that can be so observed.

      1 Super/Hyper novae may be visible at even greater distances but are transient.

  7. ThatOne Silver badge

    > With the naked eye

    Pervert!

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