Galactic Canibalism – Research

Between the two northern constellations Cassiopeia and Pegasus you can notice a little blurred spot in the constellation Andromeda.

That blurriness, called M31 or galaxy Andromeda, is one of the most distant objects, that could be observed with a naked eye, and it’s in course of clash with our home galaxy, The Milky Way.

At this very moment, we are going through Andromeda, a behemoth of galaxies and home of around a trillion stars. The milky way is only 80% of its size, so the interaction will allow Andromeda to strip the stars out of our galaxies and thus created one super-huge system in the process, called galactic cannibalism.

In the year 1910 the Astronom, Edwin Hubble uses the 100-inch telescope “Hooker” atop Mt. Wilson to examine the motion of the objects in the night sky.

Through calculations of the radial speed, he was able to determine, that most objects out of our galaxies are redshifted, which speculated that they are moving away from the Milky Way.

The redshifting is happening when the light of the object is generating by the length of the wave, shifting is into the red end of the light spectrum.

Most important for Astro-physics, is that his observation proved, that the Universe is expanding constantly, nevertheless his observations also proved, that Andromeda was shifted in blue, which means it is getting closer even faster.

That may sound apocalyptic, but from the point of view of the earth, it will have a very low interaction, when the galaxies really interact with each other in the distant 4.5 billion years. Of course, life may be disappeared on Earth.


The brightest star is Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the planet earth besides the Sun.

Atlas Image (or Atlas Image mosaic), is obtained when a part of the Research of two microns for the whole sky (2MASS), with a team project of the University in Massachusetts and the center of infrared processing analysis/Californian technological institute, financed by National aeronautic and space Administration and National science foundation.

Galactic interaction is often seen phenomenon when it comes to the evolution of our Universe. The cosmic telescope Hubble has photographed a lot of interactions like these. Most galaxies will merge into other ones in their lifetime and it has a lot of proves, that shows, that both systems are been connected with another one through eons.

And after around 2 billion years, Andromeda and the Milky Way will merge into one after another, igniting the process.

The fly-by will drag the long tail of stars from each of the Galaxies, before both stars spinning in reverse and merge, forming one lucrative elliptical galaxy instead of a spiral form, which both of them already have. The created galaxy will reduce dozens of others in our space neighborhood.

The chance of collision with Proxima Centauri, the closest neighbor of the Sun, is distant due to the large distances. The star is far as 4 light-years.

So even unimaginable billion possible collisions, the chance that will happen one of them is currently very low.

Adding trillions of stars into the system will probably push the sun, which at the moment is located in the outer current on our Milky Way, and it will be located in a new place, in the heart of the new system.

When it comes to our computer simulations, there is a chance 1 out of 10 that our solar system will be thrown away from the galaxy during the process, nonetheless even this will have a  little to no effect on the life on our planet, and the drastic changing night sky, The orbits of the planets and the moons of our Solar system will not notice any difference.

If the sun had to be thrown out from the galactic projects into the non-reserved places in space, the bright district in yo our night sky that will call the Milky way would dissapear. Thousands of light dots from our neighbors would all disappear, leaving the night sky far darker.

If the sun instead turns out to be closer to the center of the new galaxy, that it will fulfill the night sky with new stars.

So for the next time, when you look at the star, look at Andromeda and think for the apocalyptic, which one tiny blurriness one day will enter our galaxy. If not, that will make the lift of the Astrologist more difficult.


You can test your newly obtained knowledge:

What is Galaxy cannibalism?

What will happen if Andromeda clashes with the Milky Way?

What is the distance between the Sun and the closest star to it?

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  1. […] Sometimes it is called galactic cannibalism in which a certain galaxy obtain local solar systems and even galaxies and consuming them, to expan it’s mass and reach. The Milky way was also once a galactic canibal. […]

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