At 15:09 ET today, NASA sent a signal to decommission the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) after ten years of tireless work shooting the galaxy in lower Earth orbit. NASA says GALEX will float around for another 65 years before it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere and essentially self-destructs.
We only have five billion years left until the Milky Way galaxy crashes into Andromeda, our nearest neighbor. What will happen to us then? Because galactic collisions take place over millions or billions of years, the process isn't well understood.
Baby stars spring to life at the supposedly desolate fringes of the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, also known as M83, in this new image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. Up to 140,000 light years from the galaxy's center, the outer arms of its "pinwheel" shape seem to flap away from the center like "giant red…