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When Two Galaxies Collide

NASA astronomers 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 has gone mad before, but it won't happen tomorrow, or even in December: 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.

Astronomer Roeland van der Marel says, "Our findings are statistically consistent with a head-on collision between the Andromeda galaxy and our Milky Way galaxy." 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.

Astronomer Sangmo Tony Sohn says, "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."

The Master of the Key didn't mention this collision, but he DID make the provocative statement that we are stuck on this planet because the parents of the child who would have given us the ability to travel into space was killed in the holocaust!

  • Image Credit:
  • NASA


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