Magnetic ‘force field’ shields giant gas cloud during collision with Milky Way

Doom may be averted for the Smith Cloud, a gigantic streamer of hydrogen gas that is on a collision course with the Milky Way Galaxy. Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have discovered a magnetic field deep in the cloud’s interior, which may protect it during its meteoric plunge into the disk of our Galaxy.

Chandra explores a giant gas cloud in system NGC 6240

Astronomers at NASA have used the Chandra X-Ray Observatory to conduct a detailed study of an enormous cloud of hot gas enveloping two large, colliding galaxies.