Interstellar Travel vs Universe Expansion: Is Andromeda Reachable?

In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of interstellar travel and the potential limitations imposed by the expansion of the universe. The initial concern is whether certain galaxies may become unreachable due to this expansion, but it is later clarified that this is only applicable to larger groups of galaxies and not individual ones like Andromeda. Additionally, it is mentioned that the Milky Way and Andromeda are on a collision course, making the point moot. Ultimately, the speaker's thoughts are confirmed that the expansion only affects larger galactic clusters and not individual galaxies.
  • #1
kent davidge
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I read in a so called sci-fi website from my country that as the universe is expanding we may not be able to get to certain galaxies in a possible interstellar travel. That information seems ok for me. But then there was a comment by a reader concluding from the website post that there is coming a time when we won't be able to get to any galaxy, even Andromeda, he says.

I guess that's not valid for Andromeda or other nearby galaxies as I have the impression that the universe expansion is felt in large distances only, and because it's said that the Milky Way is on a collision route with Andromeda...

I just want to confirm if my thought is correct...
 
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  • #2
The expansion is only for groups larger than a galactic cluster so you are correct that it wouldn't be true even for Andromeda although that point is moot since Andromeda is going to collide with the Milky Way LONG before it becomes true that our local cluster is the only stuff in the observable universe. So yes, you are correct.
 
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Related to Interstellar Travel vs Universe Expansion: Is Andromeda Reachable?

1. How fast can we travel to reach Andromeda?

The current technology does not allow us to travel at speeds necessary to reach Andromeda in a reasonable amount of time. The fastest spacecraft ever launched, the Voyager 1, would take about 17,000 years to reach Andromeda.

2. Will the expansion of the universe make it impossible to reach Andromeda?

The expansion of the universe does make it challenging to reach Andromeda, but it is not impossible. The distance between our galaxy and Andromeda is expanding at a rate of about 68 km per second per megaparsec, but there are ways to overcome this through advanced propulsion systems.

3. What are some potential challenges of interstellar travel to reach Andromeda?

There are many challenges of interstellar travel, including the vast distance, exposure to cosmic radiation, and the need for advanced propulsion systems. Additionally, the journey would require a self-sustaining spacecraft that can support human life for an extended period of time.

4. How long would it take to travel to Andromeda?

With our current technology, it would take approximately 2.5 million years to reach Andromeda. However, with advancements in technology, it is possible to reduce this time significantly.

5. Is it worth the effort to try to reach Andromeda?

The decision to attempt interstellar travel to Andromeda would depend on various factors, including the resources available, the potential benefits, and the risks involved. It would require significant investment and advancements in technology, but it could also provide valuable insights and advancements in space exploration and potential colonization of other galaxies.

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