Andromeda Galaxy will collide with our Milky Way but in four billion years

Artist's rendition of the night sky when the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way will collide

Researchers from NASA have predicted that the head-on collision between the neighboring Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way will occur in four billion years. Our solar system would have no danger of being destroyed.

[hana-code-insert name=’StumbleUpon’ /][hana-code-insert name=’Reddit’ /]”Our findings are statistically consistent with a head-on collision between the Andromeda galaxy and our Milky Way galaxy,” said Roeland van der Marel of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore.

The researchers have based their measurement on studies about the motion of Andromeda, which is also known as M31, by NASA Hubble Space Telescope. At this time, the galaxy is 2.5 million light years away but is moving towards the Milky Way under the mutual pull of gravity and the invisible dark matter surrounding the both. It has been found that the Andromeda is coming towards us more than two thousand times faster but it will take about 4 billion years for the collision. Moreover, it will take further two billion years for the two huge bodies after the collision to completely merge into each other to form a new single elliptical galaxy.

“After nearly a century of speculation about the future destiny of Andromeda and our Milky Way, we at last have a clear picture of how events will unfold over the coming billions of years,” said Sangmo Tony Sohn of STScI.

Source: NASA

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