Two galaxies merging with one another is quite a common thing in the universe, as nothing sits still. Hubble has snapped two such galaxies that have been designated UGC 2369. These are slowly eating each other until they will become one.
Galaxies are lonely places
The process takes millions of years if not more. Generally, it is believed that most areas of the galaxies will not suffer from the merger but some will see catastrophic effects. This will be caused by so-called minor collisions between stars and planets.
The major collision should occur between the two black holes of the galaxy. These should also combine to make a supermassive black hole. The effects of this should be theoretically life-changing for the stars and planets caught within their range.
The process of galaxy mergers typically invoves two galaxies, one bigger, one smaller. When the two are close enough, their gravity creates a bridge of dust and other matter that can actually be seen with the naked eye.
The Milky Way, the galaxy we currently reside in, will suffer the same fate in the distant future. It has been calculated that our galaxy will collide with the closest one to it, named Andromeda.
This neighboring galaxy is about 2.5 million light-years away and it will take around 4 billion years for the merger to happen. It has currently been designated as Milkomeda.
The Milky Way and Andromeda are traveling at 400.000 km per hour toward one another if you can believe it. It has been said that due to the massive distances between celestial objects, most of them will not collide.
So, whatever life will be there in the two galaxies, will be pretty much safe. However, if such a civilization is in possession of advanced astronomical tools or even spacecraft, the light show will be amazing to watch.
As our second lead editor, Fiona Johnson provides guidance on the stories Teslabel reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Fiona. Fiona received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.