NASA have released an artists impression of what the collision of the Milky Way galaxy and The Andromeda galaxy will look like when viewed from Earth.
But before you get your cameras out in anticipation of of capturing an incredible moment, it’s not due to happen for approximately 3.75 billion years.
Here’s an artists impression of how the collision may happen over a period of 5 Billion years. The end result is thought to produce a huge Elliptical galaxy, its bright core dominating the night-time sky. The Andromeda Galaxy is moving towards The Milky Way Galaxy at approximately 250,000 miles per hour, which is the speed we would require to travel to the moon. The measurement was made using the Doppler effect, which is a change in frequency and wavelength of waves produced by a moving source relative to an observer, to measure how starlight in the galaxy has been compressed by Andromeda’s motion toward us.
It is likely the sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system are in no danger of being destroyed.
- First Row, Left: Present day.
- First Row, Right: In 2 billion years the disk of the approaching Andromeda galaxy is noticeably larger.
- Second Row, Left: In 3.75 billion years Andromeda fills the field of view.
- Second Row, Right: In 3.85 billion years the sky is ablaze with new star formation.
- Third Row, Left: In 3.9 billion years, star formation continues.
- Third Row, Right: In 4 billion years Andromeda is tidally stretched and the Milky Way becomes warped.
- Fourth Row, Left: In 5.1 billion years the cores of the Milky Way and Andromeda appear as a pair of bright lobes.
- Fourth Row, Right: In 7 billion years the merged galaxies form a huge elliptical galaxy, its bright core dominating the nighttime sky.