The Milky Way is a galaxy that includes our solar system. What if it collided with our nearest galaxy, Andromeda?
Such a situation may arise in the future. This is what the Iowa Post says
First we have our neighbor
Let’s talk about the Andromeda Galaxy.
Andromeda Galaxy – Also known as Messier 31, M31, and NGC 224.
It is a spiral galaxy about 2.5 million light-years from Earth.
It is also the main galaxy near our Milky Way.
Andromeda derives its name from the Ethiopian (or Phoenician) princess who was the wife of Perseus in Greek mythology.
The mass of the Andromeda Galaxy is about 1 trillion solar masses.
The Andromeda Galaxy is estimated to be 25% to 50% larger than the Milky Way.
The Andromeda Galaxy is approximately 220,000 light-years in diameter, making it the largest member of our Milky Way galaxy.
The number of stars in the Andromeda Galaxy is estimated to be one trillion. That is, twice as much as in the Milky Way.
The Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy
It is expected to collide with each other in about 4.5 billion years.
The two merge to form a giant elliptical galaxy or a large lenticular galaxy.
The Andromeda Galaxy Messier is the brightest of objects. It is visible to the naked eye from Earth on moonless nights.
They can also be seen with the naked eye when viewed from areas such as Norway with moderate light pollution.
One day our neighbor will break into our house.
The Andromeda Galaxy is approaching the Milky Way at a speed of 110 kilometers per second.
But now we do not have to fear such a collision. the reason
Compared to the Milky Way, the tangential or lateral velocity of the Andromeda Galaxy is much smaller than that of the impending speed, so it will only directly collide with the Milky Way in about 4 billion years.
As a result of the Iowa collision, the galaxies will merge to form a giant elliptical galaxy or a large disk galaxy.
Such events are common among galaxies in galaxy groups.
Pictured below is a collision of two similar star clusters, NGC 5394 and NGC 5395.
The fate of the Earth and the Solar System as a result of the collision is currently unknown.
Before the galaxies merge, there is a small chance that the Solar System will be ejected from the Milky Way or join the Andromeda Galaxy.