Wednesday , December 2 2020

The Milky Way is on an unstoppable collision course with a nearby galaxy – BGR

Our solar system is largely unchanged for billions of years, and it will probably remain that way for a long time to come, but it has not stopped astronomers from looking far into the future in an attempt to predict some major changes in our Home Calc, the Milky Way.

A new research effort supports the idea that Libra is moving towards a massive collision, and when that happens, it can dramatically affect our solar system and perhaps even the very earth itself. The good news is that humanity is likely to be gone then, somehow.

The study conducted by researcher at Durham University focuses on the relationship between the Milky Way and a satellite galaxy known as the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC for short). LMC is the current movement away from our galaxy at high speed, and at present it is about 63,000 light years away. But it's about to change, and computer models suggest that the LMC will eventually collide with our galaxy in a chaotic, swirling mess that may even throw our solar system into space.

In the paper, the researchers explain that an initial blowing blow between the two galaxies could swing our solar system into space and potentially even affect Earth's distinctive character. After the collision, the supermassive black hole was able to rest in the middle of the Milky Way growing up to ten times its current size.

But what does all this mean for humanity? Well, not much at the moment. The event is not expected to take another 2.5 billion years or so, and if humanity has not already turned the earth into an uninhabitable wilderness alone, we have probably had enough time to come up with an exit strategy if one is needed. Hopefully.

Image source: NASA / ESA

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