NASA researchers announced on Thursday that our Milky Way is bound for a head-on collision with the similar-sized Andromeda galaxy. The Milky Way galaxy is ...

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NASA astronomers announced on Thursday that our Milky Way is bound for a head-on collision with the similar-sized Andromeda galaxy. The Milky Way galaxy is destined to get a major makeover during the encounter, which is predicted to happen four billion years from now. The sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system are in no danger of being destroyed.


Milky Way And Andromeda May Crash In Galaxy Like This, Image Credit : The Space Telescope Science Institute

Roeland van der Marel and his colleagues used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to observe select regions of Andromeda continuously over a seven-year period. They were able to measure the galaxy’s sideways (or tangential) motion, and they found that Andromeda and the Milky Way are indeed bound for a direct hit. In fact, Marel said, “The Andromeda Galaxy is heading straight in our direction. The galaxies will collide, and they will merge together to form one new galaxy.” He and his colleagues has created a video simulation of the Milky Way crash into Andromeda.

In the Hubble site, it is mentioned :

“Computer simulations derived from Hubble’s data show that it will take an additional two billion years after the encounter for the interacting galaxies to completely merge under the tug of gravity and reshape into a single elliptical galaxy similar to the kind commonly seen in the local universe. Although the galaxies will plow into each other, stars inside each galaxy are so far apart that they will not collide with other stars during the encounter. However, the stars will be thrown into different orbits around the new galactic center. Simulations show that our solar system will probably be tossed much farther from the galactic core than it is today”.

It is confirmed that The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies will collide for sure. The two galaxies have enough space between them. Any kind of direct collision of heavenly bodies is supposed to be impossible but unfortunately that is going to happen in far future. Andromeda is still 2.5 million light years away but heading toward us at 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers) per hour. With such speed, it can travel from here to the moon in one hour. It will collide with the Milky Way because of the mutual pull of their gravity. In a new video from NASA shows that how the collide will go down.

Source : Hubble
Thanks To : Space.com, Latimes

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  On June 1, 2012(2 years, 4 months ago.)

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