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This Is How Our Night Sky Will Look Like When Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies Merge

Will the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies collide someday? According to astronomers: Yes.


This series of photo illustrations shows the predicted merger between our Milky Way galaxy and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy.

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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.

The universe is expanding and accelerating, and collisions between galaxies in close proximity to each other still happen because they are bound by the gravity of the dark matter surrounding them. The Hubble Space Telescope’s deep views of the universe show such encounters between galaxies were more common in the past when the universe was smaller.

Credit: NASA; ESA; Z. Levay and R. van der Marel, STScI; T. Hallas, and A. Mellinger

Photo Gallery