What will happen to the Milky Way in the future?
What will become of the Milky Way Galaxy in the remote future? Will it become unstable or evolve into something different?
On its own, the Milky Way will not become unstable. It will continue to grow by cannibalising small galaxies like the Magellanic Clouds (currently, the Milky Way is swallowing a small dwarf galaxy).
However, the Andromeda galaxy (which is bigger than the Milky Way) is right now headed towards the Milky Way and will tidally interact (or collide) with the Milky after several billion years. Some day, the two galaxies will merge and will probably become an elliptical galaxy (like M87). However, these events will take place only after a VERY LONG time.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
- How do we know what parameters to use when simulating the collision of the Milky Way and Andromeda?
- Can we make a movie of the Milky Way galaxy's rotation?
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 26558 times since August 26, 2002.
Last modified: October 4, 2002 11:06:18 AM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)