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Monstrous Cloud Of Hydrogen And Sulfur Is On A Collision Course With The Milky Way

There is a classic collision about to take place and you are all invited. This classic collision will happen right in our own galaxy, just about 30 million years from now. 30 million years may seem a lot but on a celestial scale, it’s not. According to Hubble Space Telescope researchers, a massive space cloud, traveling at a rate of 700,000 mph (1.1 million km/h), is currently set on a collision course with our Galaxy. Smith’s Cloud is a massive cloud of gas containing mostly hydrogen and heavier sulfur. This cloud measures up to 11,000 lightyears in length (9.5 trillion km is equal to a lightyear) and about 2,500 lightyears wide. This enormous cloud was discovered in 1963 by Dutch radio astrophysicist Gail Smith, recent research shows that the massive space cloud formed about 70 million years ago.

Due to high ratio of sulfur gas, astrophysicists propose that Smith’s Cloud probably originated from the Milky Way. But no one knows how and why it was expelled out of our galaxy. And now, it returns with a huge boom.

One significant thing about this is collision will certainly not kill us — at least not anyone from Earth — because this takes place several thousands of lightyears from us, at the very edge of the Milky Way.

Earth will not get hurt but instead, we will get to witness a magnificent light show including the birth of about 2 million stars.

This specific Collision is an astronomical notice of how evolution occurs at cosmic scales. Astrophysicist, Andrew Fox, from Space Telescope Science Institute, and a profound Smith’s Cloud researcher, said in a statement:
The cloud is a perfect example of how the galaxy is shifting with time. It’s showing us that our Galaxy is a bubbling, very active place where gasses can be thrown out of one part of the disk and then return into another. Milky Way is recovering its gas through clouds, the Smith Cloud being one of the examples, and will form stars in different places than before. Hubble’s calculations of the Smith Cloud are allowing us to imagine how active the disks of galaxies are.



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