NASA confirms Milky Way Galaxy on collision course with Andromeda Galaxy

May 31. 2012SPACENASA astronomers announced Thursday they can now predict with certainty the next major cosmic event to affect our galaxy, sun, and solar system: the titanic collision of our Milky Way galaxy with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The Milky Way is destined to get a major makeover during the encounter, which is predicted to happen four billion years from now. 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. “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 the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore. The solution came through painstaking NASA Hubble Space Telescope measurements of the motion of Andromeda, which also is known as M31. The galaxy is now 2.5 million light-years away, but it is inexorably falling toward the Milky Way under the mutual pull of gravity between the two galaxies and the invisible dark matter that surrounds them both. “After nearly a century of speculation about the future destiny of Andromeda and our Milky Way, we at last have a clear picture of how events will unfold over the coming billions of years,” said Sangmo Tony Sohn of STScI. Physics
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43 Responses to NASA confirms Milky Way Galaxy on collision course with Andromeda Galaxy

  1. Emanuel says:

    Thanks for sharing Alvin. Quite interesting.

    However, this should be the least of our worries.


  2. woudnlie says:

    I wonder if it is not sooner… The Nasa group have been saying a lot latley as we have seen the ghost spirals ,and they said it was from millions of years ago.. Why hasn’t any of this been seen before? Looks like we are beginning to split cell with our galaxy. go into 2 pieces.. new galaxies.. soo much information, and then again , not enough!!


  3. David Rookes says:

    I plan to live until I am 4 billion years old and then watch it happen, and so far so good. Unless you plan the same, don’t let it give you nightmares.


  4. m c says:

    WHEW I’m glad they got that squared away.(thank you nasa — heres a scooby snack *)

    Interesting but not really relevant to whats going to happen in the next year, decade or century.


  5. Dave H. says:

    That’s funny. They can detect this… billions of years away but totally miss an asteroid 8,000 miles away. What???


    • Kinda like NASA controlling a remote rover on Mars from Earth but can’t build a remote that will work to open your garage door when you’re 10 feet upon it.


    • Logan says:

      You are talking about the difference between a galaxy and a rock. For comparison, the scale we’re talking about is being able to see a football stadium before you see a sesame seed.


  6. Bruce says:

    “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.”

    I love lines like this. How do they know??!! They can’t even predict this weekends weather!!!! I think if the sun was flung into a new region it would have catastrophic consequences for the earth! Scientists and their long list of nonsense.


    • King kevin says:

      Bruce this is exactly all I could take from it. Our sun being flung to a different part of the galaxy and no danger doesn’t even make sense. lol. Why is planet Earth so fruitful? Because of it’s distance to the sun. Why are the other planet so not? Because of their distance from the sun. It just shows you NASA will cover up Earth’s demise a billion years from now, what makes us think they wouldn’t hide it anytime sooner?


      • Martin says:

        The sun moving means the earth moves with it. At the same distance. We won’t be affected. At all.

        It’s like if you throw a ball away from a collection of balls, and we are actually an atom of ‘ball’, inside the ball.


  7. Martin says:

    over the coming billions of year, pfff nothing to worrie about now.


  8. Andrew says:

    I, Andrew, being of sound mind and body hereby declare this as my last will and testement…


  9. HERMENATOR says:

    What a bunch of 4 billion years of wasted effort, maybe they could put this effort into a more productive way……. like who gives a s–t what is happening in 4 billion years from now really.
    I just wonder who is paying this idiots salary.


  10. L0lzer says:

    In 4 billion years we might have found a way to move entire galaxies… So if someone 4 billion years from now sees this, Hello!


  11. tonic says:

    Wonder what the night sky would look like as it approached.


  12. Thomas says:

    “we at last have a clear picture of how events will unfold over the coming billions of years”

    What a loser.


  13. Joseph t. Repas says:

    Good, As I have already reserved my vacation week for that date! My only concern however is whether the sun will then be a Red Giant star or a neutron star by then…doesn’t matter though because right after the merging of the galaxies I’m going to Disney land!


  14. John David says:

    “The galaxy is now 2.5 million light-years away, but it is inexorably falling toward the Milky Way under the mutual pull of gravity between the two galaxies and the invisible dark matter that surrounds them both. “ i was under the impression or maybe I should say catapulted by the impression that gravity was a push not a pull. Anyways I find it funny how they say they now have a clear picture of how “events” are going to unfold. They still don’t know or are hush hush about the effects of local interstellar space dust density which we are entering now.


  15. Texas Listening Post, Tony says:

    It means nothing, just a PR release to cover NASA’s (Never A Straight Answer) failures that can be measured, who will measure their correctness on this one? One Navy Commander told me we concern ourselves with the mice while the elephants are running off. If NASA would put their minds to relevant problems such as how to divert an asteroid from impacting the earth. The US will be hard pressed to fund NASA’s “Pie In the Sky” programs, when people are begging in the streets.

    As a side note: Alvin can I purchase “The 7th Protocol from a book store in Cambridge in July? I shall make another trip to the UK.


  16. ashuka says:

    Thanks for the info Alvin. NASA should try and whats happening now instead of worrying about whats going to happen billions of years from now. Bruce i agree with you its all just nonsense.


  17. m says:

    Help! I must save my children’s, children’s, children’s …. 🙂


  18. daniel says:

    4 billion years what a diversion from things of the now!!!!


  19. Columbine says:

    I don’t think this is nonsense at all. How do we know that the gravitational effect of one galaxy approaching another is not part of what is causing the changes in our own solar system? Galaxies are HUGE and I’m sure they have some effect on the areas of space surrounding each one. If there is a “pull” between these two galaxies of some sort, an “attraction” so to speak, it could be causing changes in the movements of asteroids, rotations of planets around the sun, magnetic changes within the whole solar system, electrical changes and who knows what else. The Milky Way Galaxy could be changing as a galaxy, which in turn could change our little solar system drastically. The study of this happening is not useless information in the larger scope of man’s knowledge of the universe. I’m glad someone is looking at the broader picture because looking at the smaller picture all the time can be downright depressing. At one time people believed the earth was flat and why bother to explore further – after all, there was a war going on somewhere in Europe! (There will always be wars because we sin continually. Look at history! Until Jesus Christ returns there will always be a war somewhere – many somewheres! – on planet earth.)


    • RainMan says:

      Nice to read science and faith getting along.


    • merle says:

      This theory about our solar system changing drastically from the gravitational pull of other galaxies makes sense to me, and what also makes sense is that we would NEVER be told up front= total chaos for our human race. We have to keep our faith strong as believers in Jesus Christ. Yes, it is indeed more important to live as Jesus taught us to, and not worry needlessly about things out of our control, but it’s still human nature to “want to know.” Isn’t that one of the reasons we come to this wonderful site? May God be with us always!


  20. nanoduck says:

    Interesting. Just remember that time is relative and exist only in this physical sphere; however outside of it on the other side one can move back and forth between distant past and future. So it is possible to see entire development of the universe. “To God, a day is a thousand years and a thousand years is a day” Or something like that. That is eternity, my friend.


    • RainMan says:

      Agree totaly about man made physical time, a minuscule drop in the ocean compared to the universe, humbling to say the least.


  21. k says:

    And yet again, media blasts us with facts that neither pertain to us or have any part in serious scientific conversation. I’m beginning to appreciate this website more every day as a true source, and communication resource. Thank you, Alvin. I think you are spot on.
    Here is a previously published report about our cannibal galaxy currently at work on the smaller Sagittarius galaxy. This isn’t billions of years in the future. It is now. Fascinating.


  22. shanewinter says:

    So how did they come to the conclusion that the Earth will not come to harm without a Sun? Placing fear in the minds if you ask me. We have to get rid of our fears, as fears hold us back Spiritually.


    • IMG

      When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” -Isaiah 43:2

      Avoiding fear is psychological weakness and a sign of fear itself. As a matter of fact, ‘avoidance‘ is a symptom of what psychologists call maladaptive coping. Conquering fear by triumphing over them is the path to strength of the soul.

      “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Romans 8:37


  23. dawn jackson says:

    I understand that we are headed for the milkyway but we will absorb all the force from the ongoing galexy. We will develops an instinct to find our way


  24. Valenzy says:

    Am happy dat the collision btw milky way and andromeda is approxmatly 2.5 billion years so that we wont experience such cosmic disaster


  25. Matthew says:

    Just as you cannot prove it false they cannot show evidence of truth. I would like to get their prediction on how the exponentially increasing gravitational pull as Andromeda approaches will effect local motions within the Milky Way. As Andromeda approaches these forces should warp the rotation of the sun and seeing the suns position in relation to Andromeda is never static the position of our solar system and the rotational center of the Milky Way will also drastically change. Over a period of 4 billion years, what is their draw up of how our solar system and the Milky Way galaxy as a whole will physically appear? They say “our earth/solar system will not be destroyed” well i would have to ask if “our earth/solar system” at the moment before impact even remotely appears similar our current representation?


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