Coming to a Solar System Near You

In about 1,350,000 years, the star Gliese 710 will pass near our Sun. It will come inside of our Solar System and enter the Oort Cloud. This animation shows the stars motion against the background of others as it is expected to be seen from the inner Solar System during the period of 1,100,000 to 1,500,000 years from now. The star position forecasting is based on data from ESA’s Gaia satellite. Gliese 710 is an orange dwarf that is somewhat smaller and somewhat dimmer than the Sun. It is currently estimated that the star at its closest approach will probably be about as bright in the Earth’s night sky as the planet Mars at its closest.

Video Credit: ESA

A Dwarf Galaxy

NGC 5949 is a dwarf galaxy around 44 million light-years from us. NGC 5949 is a relatively bulky example of a dwarf galaxy with a mass of about one percent of the Milk Way’s. It’s classified as a dwarf because of its relatively small number of constituent stars, but with loosely-bound spiral arms it is also classified as a barred spiral galaxy.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA