Our Galaxy Is In Collision
Something astounding is going on in space and it
has only recently been discovered by astronomers. It seems that a dwarf galaxy, called Sagittarius, is running right into
our own Milky Way.
One would think that a galaxy of swirling suns and planets
that collides with another would bring chaos. A good science fiction writer could portray the effect as suns and planets in
collision, all of the energies of the two systems destroying one another in violent explosive fury.
Strangely, that is not happening. The dwarf galaxy seems
to be mixing with and passing through the massive Milky Way without incident. The process has been going on for a very long
time and is expected to take about a million years to complete.
Astronomers who study such matters say the Sagittarius
Dwarf is one of nine small dwarf spheroidal galaxies that orbit our galaxy. Since all galaxies seem to orbit, the dwarf galaxies
appear to be in orbit around the Milky Way. And the Sagittarius Dwarf has such an odd orbital path that some scientists believe
it has passed through the Milky Way many times before.
How can this happen without bringing destruction to the
order of our corner of the universe? That is the mystery.
Some scientists theorize that the Sagittarius contains
a lot of low-density dark matter that not only allows the clusters of whirling stars to pass one another without being torn
apart by the gravitational pull of one another.
The theory is supported by the discovery that our planet
is being bombarded by millions of sub-atomic particles that appear to be passing right through our three-dimensional planet
without ill effects.
These particles, called WIMPS (weakly interacting massive
particles), are mostly striking from one direction.
The discovery in 1994 that the Sagittarius dwarf is entering
our galaxy has helped to explain the WIMPS. It is believed that the Sagittarius is orbiting over the poles of our own galaxy.
"Part of this stream of stars is coming past our part
of the galaxy, close to the Solar System," said Heidi Newberg, astronomer from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Newberg and Katherine Freeze, of the University
of Michigan, published a paper in the journal Physical Review Letters,
in which they theorize that the Earth is passing through the midst of a sea of fast-moving dark matter coming directly from
the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy. They say billions of WIMPS could be passing through every square mile of the Earth and our bodies
at speeds of over a million kilometers per hour.
The invading galaxy, which is a fraction the size of our
own, was discovered by a team of UK astrologers in 1994 while they were analyzing stars in a concentrated, elliptical bulge
at the center of the Milky Way.
They said they discovered that certain stars were not
moving in the right manner to be in the center of the Milky Way. Instead, they were found to be part of a dwarf galaxy located
along the line of sight to the center of our galaxy, but on the opposite side.
Sagittarius was thus hidden from clear view even though
it was on a collision course.