MONTRÉAL, Canada – Just weeks after the bone-chilling discovery that the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way are on a collision course, astrophysicists and rocket scientists from around the globe are scrambling to save the human race from extinction!
“It’s inspiring,” said one top astronomer. “Experts from Iceland to Zimbabwe are teaming up to find a solution to this impending disaster. We have even been joined by scientists from Iran and North Korea. Old differences like religion and geopolitics are being put aside and we are facing this incredible menace united.
“Even if we ultimately fail, this will be remembered as one of the scientific community’s finest hours.”
It was in early October that Professor Duncan Forbes and his colleagues at Quebec University made the alarming discovery that our neighboring galaxy Andromeda is zooming toward our own galaxy the Milky Way at a blinding 50 miles per second. The finding, announced in a publication of the Royal Astronomical Society, made headlines in scientific journals worldwide, but was overshadowed in the mainstream media by the departure of a popular contestant on “Dancing with the Stars.”
“A vast event, the collision of the Milky Way and the giant spiral galaxy Andromeda is due to take place,” according to the October 6 edition of the respected online publication Science Alert.
The magnitude of the upcoming mega-disaster is almost beyond human comprehension.
“Picture an 18-wheeler bearing down on you at top speed,” a leading astrophysicist tried to explain to reporters in layman’s terms. “Now picture an 18-wheeler with the mass of a trillion stars making a beeline for you. We’re talking about the mother of all fender benders.”
The Canadian astronomers’ figures have been checked and rechecked and American experts grimly concur with the conclusion that the impact is inevitable.
“It’s now believed the two will collide,” confirmed renowned Minneapolis astronomer Mike Lynch, author of Washington Starwatch.
While racing against the clock to come up with an answer, scientists warn that there may be no way to stop the smash-up from occurring.
“This is not the scenario pictured in the old sci-fi novel, ‘When Worlds Collide,’” says a NASA engineer. “This isn’t just a planet, it’s an entire galaxy coming straight at us.
“And it’s certainly nothing like the movie ‘Armageddon,’ where it was just an asteroid headed our way. This time, we can’t just send up Bruce Willis with a nuke to blow it to smithereens.”
In “When Worlds Collide,” scientists manage to build a pair of rocket ships that whisk a handful of human survivors away to another planet just before the deadly impact. And a similar solution may be our last, best hope now. Some experts believe that we can construct an armada of star ships that evacuate Earth and fly the entire population to our nearest neighbor, the Canis Major Dwarf galaxy.
They admit the task is “somewhat daunting,” since Canis Major is a mind-bending 42,000 light years away, and the Earth’s population now tops a whopping 6.8 billion people. But they insist that time is on our side.
“No one knows exactly when Andromeda will hit – some estimate it could be more than 4 billion years,” explains the NASA engineer. “Keep in mind, it took a billion years for life to evolve on Earth. That gives us four times as much time to develop the technology to get everyone safely to another galaxy.
“We have the time, we just need to muster the will — and use the combined know-how of all the nations of Earth.”
Amazingly, some scientists say there’s nothing to worry about and that instead, people should adopt a “wait and see” attitude. They claim there’s a high probability that when the collision occurs, the two galaxies won’t destroy each other, they’ll merely merge to form one huge galaxy.
But the NASA expert says, “We can’t be sure of what will happen when the two galaxies collide. I just know I wouldn’t want to be there when they do – and I don’t want my great, great, great, great grandchildren to be there for the big light show either.”
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth. All rights reserved.
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