Oct 172017
 

Several billion years from now, right about the time the US Federal Debt is paid off, the Milky way and Andromeda galaxies are going to collide and eventually merge into one bigger galaxy. Very likely there will not be even a single collision of actual stars, but the collision of gas clouds could result in some spectacular star formation events. Start getting ready soon to avoid the last minute rush.

 

 Posted by at 9:38 pm
  • Paul451

    More interesting is the research that led to this new interest in the collision. Proving that the collision will happen, that Andromeda’s lateral motion is insufficient to be in an elliptical orbit with the Milky Way. They did that by using Hubble to image through Andromeda, to map Big-A’s stars against much more distant galaxies repeatedly over the last 15 years in order to directly measure lateral velocity.

  • robunos20

    Interesting, that the collision process starts at around the same time that the Sun is expected to transition from a Main Sequence to a Red Giant star . . . also, counter-intuitively, the speed of the collision is inversely related to the degree of disruption. The slower the colision speed. the more time there is for the galaxies’ gravitational fields to interact, whereas in a rapid event, the two galaxies can literally pass straight through one another . . .