The Milky Way shrinks


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The uncertainty of science: New research by astronomers suggests that the Milky Way is about half as massive as previously estimated.

In the sixties I remember astronomers claiming that the Milky Way was twice as big as Andromeda. Then it was considered half as big. Most recently it was considered about the same size. This new research makes it half as big as Andromeda again.

In other words, the data is very uncertain, and the scientists really don’t have a good handle on it. None of these conclusions should be taken very seriously. All we really know at this point is that the Milky Way and Andromeda are approximately comparable.

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5 comments

  • “All we really know at this point is that the Milky Way and Andromeda are approximately comparable.”

    As the two galaxies are on a collision course, in a few million years we’ll know for sure.

  • DK Williams

    I recall my sixth grade teacher talking about distances to stars and galaxies. I did some reading on the subject and realized the measurement methods made assumptions that could be way off. Techniques are far more sophisticated today, but still rest on a set of assumptions. Add to this “margin of measurement error” and it is not surprisingly that such estimates change greatly over time.

  • Cotour

    Would this be as a result of “Global Warming” / “Climate Chaos” on the earth?

  • joe

    Yes, of course it is.

  • Competential

    125,000,000 years from now the Sun will have made half an orbit around the Milky Way. By then we will have the best possible parallax measurement of the distance to Andromeda. Just hang on.

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