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L

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 And it's huge. If you could actually see that cloud of gas in the sky, it would appear to be much bigger than the moon. And when it gets here, watch out! It's going to collide with other gas clouds that, at the moment, are sitting rather peacefully out in the nether reaches of the galaxy.
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A giant cloud of hydrogen gas is racing towards a collision with the Milky Way, astronomers have announced.
Smith's Cloud, as it is known, may set off spectacular fireworks when it smacks into our galaxy in 20-40 million years.
The cloud is careering towards our galaxy at more than 240km/s  and is set to strike the Milky Way at an angle of 45 degrees.

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A gas cloud weighing a million times the mass of the Sun is hurtling towards the Milky Way galaxy and is set to trigger stellar fireworks after it collides in 20 to 40 million years. A ring of stars in the Sun's neighbourhood may be the signature of a previous cloud's impact.
The cloud is made mostly of hydrogen gas and is 11,000 light years long and 2500 light years wide, about the size of a dwarf galaxy. It was discovered in 1963, but nothing was known about its motion towards our galaxy until now.


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With the help of a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater physics professor and two recent graduates, crucial information has been gathered about a giant cloud of hydrogen gas headed toward the Milky Way Galaxy.
The information was gathered by Assistant Professor of Physics Robert Benjamin, and recent graduates AJ Heroux of West Bend and Travis Fischer of Hartford and was used to create an extremely detailed high-resolution image of the cloud, called Smith's Cloud after the astronomer who discovered it in 1963. This cloud of hydrogen gas is about a million times larger than the mass of the sun.
When Smith's Cloud was first discovered, the available images didn't have enough detail to show whether the cloud was part of the Milky Way Galaxy, something falling out or something falling in.
The help provided by Benjamin, Heroux and Fischer proved that the cloud appears to be smashing into the Milky Way Galaxy, and it is breaking up as it hits the galaxy. These new images were presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin, Texas on Jan. 11.

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 The approaching Smith's Cloud,  which measures 11,000 light-years long and 2,500 light-years wide, was discovered in 1963,  and is only  8,000 light-years from the milky way.  The resulting collision will occur in 20 to 40 million years

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