We’re Gonna Crash!
Milky Way galaxy is on a collision course with Andromeda.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: June 6th, 2012
"Our findings are statistically consistent with a head-on collision between the Andromeda galaxy and our Milky Way galaxy." — Roeland van der Marel
hen Buckminster Fuller referred to our planet as “spaceship Earth,” he wasn’t just whistlin’ “Dixie.” Our planet isn’t just orbiting around the Sun, it’s also hurtling through space, along with the rest of the Milky Way galaxy. This much we knew. What we didn’t know, until this week, is that our galaxy is on a collision course.
Astronomers have known for a while that Andromeda, the other large galaxy in our cluster of galaxies (referred to as the Local Group), is headed our way, but it was unclear how close it would come.
"Our findings are statistically consistent with a head-on collision between the Andromeda galaxy and our Milky Way galaxy," said Roeland van der Marel of Baltimore’s Space Telescope Science Institute.
These findings come from observations made using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope over a five- to seven-year period.
The good news for us Earthlings is that this collision won’t occur for another four billion years. By that time not only will everyone on Earth (as well as their children and their children’s children, and their children’s children, etc.) be dead, but also our planet will be uninhabitable, thanks to the increasing luminosity of the Sun, which is scheduled to turn into a red giant in 4.5 billion years.
Also, there’s a chance that our solar system won’t be affected, since we reside in an outer spiral arm of the galaxy, and Andromeda is expected to hit our galaxy dead center.
Watch this video to learn more: