Smith’s Cloud – a massive cloud of gas orbiting the Milky Way galaxy – contains enough gas to make 2 million stars the size of our sun. It’s moving through space at 700,000 miles (1.13 million km) per hour on a collision course with the Milky Way. In about 30 million years, it will crash into our galaxy, causing a brilliant burst of star formation.
In this NASA ScienceCast video you can find out what astronomers know about Smith’s Cloud, and what mysteries are still to be solved.
Bottom line: New NASA video on what astronomers know about Smith’s Cloud.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.