Tough Neighborhood

Today’s “Ha-ha-made-you-look” story on the interest asks “Is the Milky Way a galaxy killer?”

Scientists once theorized that we have 500 galactic neighbors — but it turns out that, once the Milky Way wreaked its havoc, only 20 survived…

Why doesn’t our Milky Way galaxy have many neighbors? Because it throttled nearby star systems during the universe’s youth, according to a new study presented by French researchers Pierre Ocvirk and Dominique Aubert. Published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the study examines why few galaxies exist in close proximity to the Milky Way, while galaxies farther away have thrived. It turns out the Milky Way is not easy to live next to.

As if we weren’t already preoccupied with guilt for everything Western Civilization has ever done! Now we find out we’re to blame for stuff that happened before the Earth even existed!

The scientists are a bit hazy about motive, but they’ve nailed down means and opportunity. Reionization occurs when ultraviolet (UV) light from mature stars, such as the Milky Way’s, “cut up the hydrogen atoms that new stars need to form.” Dark matter kept the Milky Way’s UV rays at their most intense near the center of our galaxy, and so nearby satellite galaxies suffered a rapid evaporation of their gas while those farther away were able to form more stars.

Expect a strongly-worded petition opposing this sort of thing to appear on Facebook momentarily.

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2 thoughts on “Tough Neighborhood

  1. We’ll get our come-uppance soon enough. We’re on a collision course with another “killer” galaxy, the great spiral in Andromeda. Once we slam into each other, our beautiful spiral structures will be wrenched out of shape and both galaxies will most likely merge into an unsightly blob that is technically called an “elliptical” galaxy. Hang onto your seats… this will happen any few hundred million years now.

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