Home News Science The Milky Way and Andromeda will collide in 4.5 billion years

The Milky Way and Andromeda will collide in 4.5 billion years

Astronomers create an interactive map that shows the history and future evolution of 1,400 galaxies.

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The Milky Way and Andromeda will collide in 4.5 billion years
future of the universe

The collision between the Milky Way and Andromeda, the two largest galaxies of the Local Group, will take place within 4,500 million years, as reflected in the first interactive map of the history of 1,400 galaxies in a span of 13,000 million years, created by an international team of astronomers and collected by the Astrophysical Journal . In this cosmic shock, the two galaxies will merge into one creating a giant elliptical galaxy.

Both our Milky Way and the rest of the galaxies that surround us are in continuous movement. In trying to reproduce the history of the movement trajectory of our galaxy, they managed to elaborate the most detailed map of our universe during almost the entirety of its history, reflecting the orbits and the movement of up to 1,400 galaxies at 100 million light-years away the earth.

And all this, in an interactive map that facilitates the understanding of the formation of this part of the cosmos and glimpses what the future holds for us.

The most detailed map of the universe

In the map, the orbits are represented thanks to an interactive visualization in 4D, with which we can freely explore the model from any angle, as well as stop the evolution of the same to see it in more detail or even go back in time we are interested to see how his evolution will be in the future. We will also appreciate the flows of  spatial matter, for example, how the Local Void is losing matter.

Thanks to this avant-garde map, in which the trajectories of the galaxies have been calculated by the principle of least action (classical mechanics), we can know that our galaxy, the Milky Way, has already traveled 30 million light years in its journey far away from the region of the universe known as the Local Void.

This sparsely populated region, the Local Void, is a wide area that extends for about 150 million light years and that surrounds the Milky Way. Other inhabitants of this neighborhood of the Local Void are the superclusters of Hercules and the Coma Supercluster.

The fatal collision

The speed at which the Milky Way is moving is approximately 2.3 million kilometers per hour. This movement brings us closer to the spiral galaxy of Andromeda, setting our future in two completely opposite phenomena: gravitation and the expansion of the universe. Which one prevails in our case? The gravitation, hence we turn to the collapse of the structures of both galaxies within 4,500 million years.

As with navigation maps, this recent map of the universe is constantly updated by this same team of scientists, who discovered Laniakea in 2014, the border of the continent of galaxies in which we all live, that is, the supercluster of galaxies to which the Milky Way belongs and our entire solar system.

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