When Woody Allen was little, and his mother told him to clean his room, he countered that he had no room to put his stuff. So he was waiting for the universe to expand for a while, then it would be possible to clean his room.
Since then, cosmologists have admonished that expansion of the universe does not really work that way. Of course, it DOES work that way, and Woody Allen was partly correct. But other factors we need not discuss here would come into play and ruin his plans.
Anyway, I’ve been going to the gym a lot lately, and I noticed yesterday that my weight had gone UP instead of DOWN. To cheer my self up, I simply attributed the increase to the huge muscles I’m building. (De nile is not just a river in Africa any more.) But then I found out that there might be another explanation for the scale giving obviously erroneous results:
The Milky Way… has 50 per cent more mass than previously believed, increasing the chance of a collision with another galaxy, say astronomers.
That would explain a lot of things. If the entire Milky Way has gotten heavier, then everything IN the Milky way has gotten heavier.
They are also saying that the Milky way is spinning faster. I wonder if that means I don’t have to spend as much time on the treadmill….???
OK, but seriously…
An international team of researchers have used ten telescopes spread out between Hawaii, the Caribbean and the northeastern United States to determine that the Milky Way is rotating at a speed of 161,000 km/h faster than previously thought.
That increase in speed boosts the Milky Way’s mass by 50 per cent, said Mark Reid, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, in research presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting this week in Long Beach, California.
“No longer will we think of the Milky Way as the little sister of the Andromeda Galaxy,” he said.
The larger mass, however, also means that the galaxy has a greater gravitational pull, which heightens the likelihood of collisions with the Andromeda galaxy or smaller nearby galaxies, Reid said.
Personally, I’m going to wait until this result is verified independently. How could we have been wrong by 50%?
Read about it here.