Not The Laser Light Show We Wanted

A South African telescope has found a space laser five billion light years away, which means global warming may actually be a real thing… in a few billion years.

A powerful telescope in South Africa has detected a space laser, known as a “megamaser,” that is 5 billion lightyears from Earth. Scientists named it Nkalakatha, an isiZulu word meaning “big boss.”

“Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet, or even a whole system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”

Nkalakatha is the most distant hydroxyl megamaser of its kind ever detected, and it was discovered by the MeerKAT telescope on the first night of a survey that was expected to include 3,000 hours of observation. The team of scientists, working for the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research, published their work in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

A Megamaser is normally created when two galaxies crash violently into each other, causing a burst of light. The MeerKAT is designed to capture the kind of light — which is on the “radio part of the electromagnetic spectrum,” according to the astronomers — that Nkalakatha emits.

So the Cartwheel and Pinwheel galaxies were just floating through space, when the Cartwheel stopped short so it wouldn’t strike the Comet galaxy. The Comet always floats entirely too slowly. The Pinwheel doesn’t see the Cartwheel’s brake lights, and slams into it. Neither galaxy has their insurance on them, they start fighting, and boom, a space laser heads toward Earth.