Ensconsed in Stars Before Bed!

December 10, 2010 at 2:05 AM (Uncategorized)

Somewhere in the midst of my recent madness, I have found the time to continue with exploring my fascinations of the universe.  Some latest adventures have propelled me into late-night searches of websites, where I have found some intriguing details.  This evening, I am studying some of the details about our galaxy.

Recent studies and provided information have lead me to understand that our Milky Way Galaxy is a member of a larger structure, which has been named The Local Group.  This consists of three major galaxies, which include our Milky Way, along with Andromeda Galaxy, and Triangulum Galaxy.  Also, there are around six dwarf galaxies, and some other galactic structures.  The latest counts total no less than forty-five galaxies of The Local Group.

The Milky Way is the second-largest galaxy of The Local Group, behind Andromeda.  It is (we are…) classified as a barred-spiral galaxy.  That means the enormous, swirling structure of stars has a bar-shaped feature at it’s center.  Stars are located inside of this bar, also.  Barred-spirals make up two-thirds of all known spiral galaxies.

Our Milky Way is accompanied by what could be classified as two tag-along galaxies.  They are smaller structures that are labeled as dwarf irregular galaxies.  Called The Magellanic Clouds, they have been entitled Large Magellanic Cloud and Small Magellanic Cloud.  They can be seen from Earth only within the southern hemisphere.

It has been revealed that the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy is on a collision course with our Milky Way.  It is another galaxy of The Local Group, said to be older than our galaxy.  It’s current path has it set to pass through the core area of our galaxy sometime within the coming one hundred million years (yes, I am waiting, too…).  This is all before our Milky Way ultimately collides with Andromeda.

Many studying scientists are reporting that Sagittarius Dwarf is falling apart, already.  Due to it’s advanced age, some of it already may be in a state of consumption by our Milky Way.  Satellite images are showing that it is being pulled apart by the stronger gravity of our galaxy, during an act of galactic cannibalism, where it will be absorbed within the next one hundred million years!  

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