People on Earth won't stand a chance: what will happen when the Milky Way crashes into Andromeda
In about 4-5 billion years, the Milky Way Galaxy, in which our solar system exists, will collide with our large spiral neighbour, the Andromeda Galaxy. As a result of this collision, a new giant galaxy will be formed, in which new stars will be born.
Scientists are convinced that this will be an incredible cosmic spectacle, but no ancestors of mankind will be able to watch it from their native Earth. National Geographic explains why this will happen (to watch a video of the collision simulation, scroll down to the end of the news article).
Milky Way and Andromeda collision: what is known
The two galaxies are now about 2.5 million light-years apart, but under the influence of gravity, they are rushing towards each other at a speed of 402,000 kilometres per hour. However, even this phenomenal speed means that billions of years remain before the fatal collision. According to various estimates, from 4 to 5 billion.
The Milky Way and Andromeda will collide head-on, flying through each other, leaving behind gas and star swirls. Over the next few centuries, the galaxies will continue their cosmic dance, moving closer together and further apart. As a result, the stars will change their positions, forming new constellations that will finally form in about a billion years. It is during this period that the two galaxies will "recover" from the collision and merge.
As a result, our solar system will receive a new galactic address: a giant elliptical galaxy formed by the collision and merger of the Milky Way and Andromeda. Scientists are already proposing to call it Milkdromeda (a combination of the English names of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies).
Modern astronomers are convinced that this will happen, as their predictions are based on a mathematical understanding of the physical laws that govern the movements of celestial bodies.
What will happen to the Earth and the solar system
Even though our solar system will still exist at the time of the collision, there will be almost no chance that humans will exist on Earth at that time.
The fact is that our Sun will not yet have turned into a red giant, but it will be bright enough to fry the surface of the Earth. Therefore, the only chance for humanity to meet this event is to become an interplanetary species and colonise a fictional Mars or exoplanets in neighbouring galaxies.
However, scientists are convinced that the remaining life forms on Earth (whatever they may be) will witness an impressive cosmic choreography. Although it is highly unlikely that they will be humans.
The famous American astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson adds that the collision of galaxies will be impressive, but massive star collisions are unlikely to occur.
"Because the distances between the stars are so large compared to their sizes, few, if any, stars in both galaxies will actually collide. Any life in the worlds of the distant future should be safe; they will enjoy an amazing light show lasting a billion years," the scientist said.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL also told about the fact that NASA recorded a super-powerful explosion that shook the entire cosmos.
Subscribe to OBOZREVATEL's Telegram and Viber channels to keep up with the latest news.