Science and Technology

The Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy will collide. What will become of us?

With the bare eye, in some areas of the northern hemisphere of the planet, it’s doable to see a vivid level in the type of a spiral slightly below the Milky Way. This is Andromeda, a neighboring galaxy about 2.5 million gentle years away.

However, this area hole has a date to finish. In 4 or 5 billion years, this similar approaching galaxy will collide with the Milky Way, of which our photo voltaic system is a component and the place Earth is.

This will occur as a result of each are attracted, explains Rafael Crist Lores, Doctor of Cosmology and Professor at IFMA (Federal Institute of Maranhão). “Andromeda has about 1 trillion stars, and our galaxy has roughly 200 billion. Because they’re the two most huge programs in the native group [composto por 54 galáxias]they endure from mutual gravitational pull, that’s, one attracts the different.”

The phenomenon was first found in 2012 by NASA astronomers utilizing knowledge from the Hubble Space Telescope once they noticed the movement of Andromeda, which was approaching at greater than 400,000 km/h.

“Merging” can occur

A newer discovery in 2020 even indicated that the merger course of between the galaxies could already be taking place as a result of the “halos” of Andromeda and the Milky Way will “contact,” in keeping with analysis based mostly on knowledge from the Hubble Space Telescope Station and printed by the journal Science.

Image of Andromeda

Image: Nicolas Lefaudeux/Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Halos are gaseous atmospheres that may trigger stars to type. In Andromeda and the Milky Way, they prolong thousands and thousands of gentle years round the middle of every.

Nicolas Lehner of the University of Notre Dame and lead writer of a examine printed in The Astrophysical Journal identified that as a result of of our location in the Milky Way, scientists can’t decide the depth of our personal galaxy’s halo. However, it’s extremely seemingly that the halos of Andromeda and the Milky Way are very comparable, as the two look alike.

Because of these options, it’s believed that the halo that surrounds the Andromeda Galaxy (which measures about one million light-years throughout) really collided with the Milky Way’s halo, marking the starting of the merger.

The stars will not collide with one another

When the merger between the galaxies is in a extra superior state, it’s assumed {that a} big elliptical galaxy will type, the place new stars can type, in addition to planetary programs from one galaxy can be part of the different.

Despite the title “collision”, nonetheless, what will occur shouldn’t be a direct affect between the two celestial our bodies, resembling the stars. According to Thiago Signorini Gonçalves, an astronomer at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, it will merely be a merger of galaxies into one.

Galaxies are principally empty area. They collide as a result of gravity, however the stars themselves will not collide with one another. It’s like two clouds of mosquitoes assembly, however the mosquitoes do not hit one another. Thiago Gonçalves (UFRJ)

The photo voltaic system will change its place

The Solar System is unlikely to be in danger of being destroyed by a galactic merger as a result of the huge areas between the stars, however there will definitely be impacts.

Studies present that our Sun and the total system will be displaced, occupying a brand new area in area. Raphael Christ (IFMA)

It is even doable that intergalactic convergence may push the Solar System additional away into an remoted area of the Milky Way or switch it to the territory of the invading Andromeda.

In about 5 billion years, shortly after the collision, the Sun will become a pink big and engulf our planet, in keeping with predictions. So our destiny is already “sealed” in the photo voltaic system.

How will this have an effect on folks?

If people nonetheless exist by then as we all know them, the collision of galaxies will tremendously alter the evening sky in the first place, inflicting a jumble of star positions.

“Precisely as a result of the stars will not collide with one another, the affect on Earth would usually be negligible. The stars in the sky will be very completely different as a result of they will all be ‘messy’. The essential factor for Earth is to be near the Sun, and that most likely it will proceed like this, even after the collision with Andromeda”, factors out Thiago Signorini.

Detailed map of the Milky Way - ESA - ESA

Detailed map of the Milky Way

Image: ESA

black gap risk

Once the galaxies meet, one other doable phenomenon may happen as a result of the convergence between Andromeda’s core and the Milky Way, presenting three doable futures for the Solar System, in keeping with Thaisa Storchi Bergmann, graduate professor at the Institute of Physics at UFRGS (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul) and a member of the World Academy of Sciences.

The key level is that Andromeda and the Milky Way have a supermassive black gap at the middle that will collide, and the gasoline inside the galaxies could be captured by the black holes via an accretion disk, the place the gasoline rotates very quickly, heating as much as a whole bunch of 1000’s of levels. inflicting an intense glow and launch of power.

This would type one and even two quasars at the middle of the Andromeda-Milky Way merger.

Then the Sun’s orbit will be modified, and subsequently the total Solar System (together with the Earth) could find yourself shut to at least one of the supermassive black holes, which will result in tragic penalties for our blue planet, in keeping with astrophysicists who in 2018 obtained a National Medal for scientific benefit for his work in the examine of black holes supermassive and their interplay with galaxies.

  • The Earth and Sun could also be near a quasar and obtain intense X-ray and ultraviolet radiation;
  • Both could be ejected from the galaxy by orbital power switch;
  • Captured and destroyed by black holes.

But will Earth exist by then?

Professor Tiago recollects that the future of our species from an astronomical level of view is fascinating, however as we speak there are extra urgent issues that man should resolve if he desires to be current in the subsequent phases of the galaxy.

You have to consider how people will deal with the Earth in the subsequent billion years. Who is aware of if with world warming and all the air pollution issues we will have the ability to save the Earth. Thiago Signorini (UFRJ)

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