Galaxies Colliding !!! The Andromeda galaxy is coming at us
………………………in 4 billion years.
Four billion years from now, the Milky Way galaxy as we know it will cease to exist.
I imagine the sky at night will look pretty amazing as the Andromeda galaxy gets closer and closer. We (the human race) should be zipping around exploring the universe by that time anyway.
Astronomers in a NASA news conference Thursday said that years of observations from the Hubble Space Telescope provide grisly details of a long-anticipated galactic smashup. Astronomers had seen the Andromeda galaxy coming at us, but thought there was a chance that its sideways motion would make it miss or graze the Milky Way. Hubble readings now indicate that’s not the case.
“This is pretty violent as things go in the universe,” said Roeland van der Marel, an astronomer with the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore that operates Hubble. “It’s like a bad car crash in galaxy-land.”
Scientists say the sun and Earth are unlikely to be hit by stars or planets from Andromeda because of the vast emptiness of the two galaxies. So Earth should easily survive what will be a 1.2 million mile per hour galactic merger. Even at that speed, the event would take about 2 billion years.