The Smith Cloud (a failed dwarf galaxy), is heading for the Milky Way galaxy at more than 150 miles per second and should hit the center of our galaxy in about 30 million years. So nothing to worry about.
The high velocity cloud might remain intact ( mostly) during its collision and merger with the galaxy, so it is very interesting to scientists.
At first scientists believed that the cloud had a magnetic shield that would protect it from total disintegration and absorption with our galaxy.
It turns out that the Smith Cloud has a protective shield. At first it was thought to be a simple magnetic shield, much like the one protecting our planet from the Sun’s effects. However, new analysis shows that it is actually surrounded by dark matter.
Although they can only be seen with radio telescopes, we are surrounded by a lot of the clouds of hydrogen (mostly) and they are part of the galactic evolutionary process. Every once and a while, these clouds head into the galaxy, kind of like comets, and bring more material to make more stars.
I need to either purchase a radio telescope or build one, that way I can have something to do when it is cloudy!
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +