Another Andromeda-Milky Way "collision" question

  • B
  • Thread starter Glenstr
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Collision
In summary, the conversation discusses the chances of our solar system being affected by a collision with objects from the Andromeda galaxy. It is noted that our solar system is in a denser section of the galactic arm, potentially making it more at risk for gravitational effects. However, it is also mentioned that the distances involved are so vast that the concept of being "within the arm" is not a useful one.
  • #1
Glenstr
76
33
For this exercise let's forget about our suns eventual demise and assume our solar system is intact during the collision/merging.

What are the chances of our solar system being adversely affected by the collision?

Are the cosmos within the galaxies so vast the chances are infinitesimal, or at least very very very small?

Given that our solar system appears to be in a somewhat dense section of one of the arms, one would guess an actual collision of our solar system with some Andromeda objects would be a lot higher than any solar systems residing in the outer reaches of the arms/galaxy.

But how high is high?, and do we today even have an idea how to calculate the probability with any degree of accuracy?
 
Astronomy news on Phys.org
  • #2
Given that our solar system appears to be in a somewhat dense section of one of the arms, one would guess an actual collision of our solar system with some Andromeda objects would be a lot higher than any solar systems residing in the outer reaches of the arms/galaxy.
Why? The objects in Andromeda wound't distinguish objects in our galaxy based on position in our galaxy.
 
  • #3
Good question, I was just assuming that with our SS residing in a more object dense area of the galaxy, new objects merging in the same vicinity would be more prone to gravitational effects within the arm, therefore more likely to get "tossed around" a bit more than object in the outer reaches of the galaxies.

Any animations I have watched on this show a couple of glancing blows as the galaxies come together and circle each other, followed by a merging of the two densest parts of the galaxies, which seems to include our position within the large Perseus arm. (or is it Sagittarius arm.. )

Then again, with our nearest neighbor in the Perseus arm being 4 LY away, perhaps the distances are just so vast this wouldn't be an issue.

Just curious.
 
  • #4
Glenstr said:
Good question, I was just assuming that with our SS residing in a more object dense area of the galaxy, new objects merging in the same vicinity would be more prone to gravitational effects within the arm, therefore more likely to get "tossed around" a bit more than object in the outer reaches of the galaxies.

Any animations I have watched on this show a couple of glancing blows as the galaxies come together and circle each other, followed by a merging of the two densest parts of the galaxies, which seems to include our position within the large Perseus arm.

Then again, with our nearest neighbor in the Perseus arm being 4 LY away, perhaps the distances are just so vast this wouldn't be an issue.
Just FYI, "within the arm" is a useless concept given the time frame involved. Arms are not stable objects in spiral galaxies but rather passing accumulations of different stars in "waves" much like what you see in highway traffic patterns. The SS could well be in a much less dense region at the time of the merger.
 

1. What is the likelihood of a collision between the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies?

The collision between the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies is inevitable and will occur in approximately 4.5 billion years.

2. What will happen when the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies collide?

When the two galaxies collide, their respective stars and gas clouds will merge, resulting in a larger elliptical galaxy.

3. Will Earth be affected by the collision?

The collision between the two galaxies will not have a direct impact on Earth as it is located on the outskirts of the Milky Way. However, the gravitational effects of the collision may alter the paths of some of our neighboring galaxies.

4. How will the collision affect the night sky?

The collision will result in a dramatic increase in the number of visible stars in the night sky, as the combined galaxy will have a much larger number of stars than the individual galaxies.

5. Is there anything we can do to prevent the collision?

As of now, there is no known way to prevent the collision between the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies. However, given the vast distance between the galaxies, the impact on our solar system and planet will be minimal.

Similar threads

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
6
Views
1K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
30
Views
3K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • Cosmology
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
5
Views
3K
Replies
18
Views
7K
Replies
5
Views
223
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
1
Views
930
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
5
Views
2K
Back
Top