Andromeda is approaching the Milky Way at … This simulation shows what will happen when the Milky Way and Andromeda get closer together and then collide, and then finally come together once more to merge into an even bigger galaxy. But on the scale of galaxies, they are quite close together. What Happens in a Galaxy Collision? In a galaxy collision, large galaxies absorb smaller galaxies, tearing them apart and incorporating their stars. The Andromeda galaxy, our Milky Way and other galaxies all sit enshrouded in a large envelope – a so-called galactic halo – which consists of gas, dust and stray stars. “The collision generated waves, just like a stone hitting water,” except that the effect is mediated by gravitational attraction rather than by a direct impact, says Loeb. Andromeda and the Milky Way are heading on a collision course that will alter the structure of the two galaxies forever. Right now, the Milky Way and Andromeda are so far apart that even light takes two million years to journey between them. Dr Kafle said the research suggests scientists previously overestimated the amount of dark matter in the Andromeda galaxy. But when the galaxies are similar in size and mass – like the Milky Way and Andromeda – the close encounter destroys the spiral arm structure. In 2012, researchers determined that a collision between the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy was sure to happen, based on Hubble data that tracked the motions of Andromeda from 2002 to 2010. But don't worry about a collision during your lifetime. Astronomers predict that in about four billion years, the Andromeda galaxy will collide with our own galaxy… Researchers concluded the galaxies would collide, using Hubble to track the motions of stars in Andromeda with unprecedented accuracy. Following that, another galaxy-altering merger will occur, when the neighboring Andromeda galaxy (currently 2.5 million light-years away) … But, galaxy collisions are common in the universe. Before being hit, Andromeda is thought to have been a disk galaxy — one with no arms. The Andromeda galaxy is our largest and closest neighbor in the universe. Andromeda, the Milky Way's nearest, and much bigger, neighbouring galaxy is headed towards us. The galaxies are rushing closer … These waves became Andromeda's spiral arms. Until 2012, it was not known whether the collision was definitely going to happen or not. Such collisions are relatively common, considering galaxies long lifespans. The Milky Way–Andromeda collision will almost certainly move the Sun outwards from its current position 8,000 parsecs (26,000 light years) away from the Galactic centre. Andromeda Milky Way Collision . And Andromeda are so far apart that even light takes two million years journey! 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