We hope to see some pretty spectacular things in the sky at our Stargate Conference in Joshua Tree on Oct. 16-18 but nothing like this: Some astronomers have speculated that collisions with our neighbors in space may one day tear apart the disk of the Milky Way. Could this be what 2012 is all about?

Thank goodness a new study shows that this grisly fate is unlikely. While astronomers know that such collisions have probably occurred in the past, the new computer simulations show that instead of destroying a galaxy, these collisions “puff up” a galactic disk, particularly around the edges, and produce structures called stellar rings.
read more