Mmmmm….Yummy.

It is no secret that the Milky Way, our galaxy, is hungry.  Scientists believe that our galaxy has ingested at least two other galaxies.  New evidence of this has appeared again as scientists have discovered a stream of stars believed to be the remnant of an ancient star cluster slowly being eaten by the Milky Way.  The scientists used data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which has a vast treasure trove of information that scientists are slowly sifting through.

“The Milky Way is constantly gobbling up small galaxies and star clusters,” said Ana Bonaca, a Yale graduate student and lead author of a study forthcoming in Astrophysical Journal Letters. “The more powerful gravity of our Milky Way pulls these objects apart and their stars then become part of the Milky Way itself.”

Marla Geha, associate professor of astronomy at Yale and a co-author of the study and her team believe this latest evidence is a star cluster rather than of a larger galaxy.  She says: “Our discovery is more of a light snack than a big meal for the Milky Way,” says. “Studying this digestion process in detail is important because it gives us new insight into how all galaxies form and evolve.”

It would be interesting to be here in about 3 billion years with the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies run into one another.  The results could look like this:

or this

 

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If you have made a new discover, or know someone who has, and you need to protect it, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  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 +

Norman

The Eye In The Sky.

Two NASA space telescopes have captured a spectacular new photo of the Helix Nebula that resembles a giant cosmic eye.

This object, called the Helix nebula, lies 650 light-years away, in the constellation of Aquarius.

The Helix Nebula (also known as NGC 7293) represents a dying star known as a planetary nebula.  Planetary nebulas aren’t planets at all, but they were first identified and named in the 18th century because they resembled gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn, and the name stuck.

The new picture combines data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, which takes images in the infrared (the yellow part of the image), and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), that images in ultraviolet (the blue part of the image) on the opposite side of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The Helix Nebula is about 650 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Aquarius.   The nebula is classified as a planetary nebula.   Stars about the size of the sun, at the end of their lives, run out of hydrogen and helium fuel for fusion in their cores.  When this happens, the stars begin to expel their outer gaseous layers into glowing remnants around them.  When all the gas has been expelled, the stars collapse into a white dwarf star about the size of the Earth.

“The white dwarf is about the size of Earth, but has a mass very close to that of the original star; in fact, a teaspoon of a white dwarf would weigh as much as a few elephants!” NASA scientists stated.

The white dwarf star in the Helix nebula is the tiny white dot in the center.

If you need help with a patent, copyright or trademark matter, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  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 +

Norman