Since the big bang 13.8 billion years ago, galaxies began to form. Each galaxy contains more than ten million stars, and each star has formed its own small galaxy. It can be said that galaxies like the Milky way are the basic unit of the universe. Every galaxy like the Milky way has a supermassive black hole at its center.
There are countless galaxies in the universe. So many galaxies interact with each other under the action of gravity. If two galaxies are very far away from each other, due to the small influence of gravity, they are constantly away from each other in the process of expanding the universe. If it’s two galaxies that are closer to each other, gravity will be stronger, and they will get close to each other and eventually collide and fuse.
Our galaxy and Andromeda are neighbors. In about 3.8 billion years, these two galaxies will collide and merge. No one can tell exactly what will happen then. Although such a large galaxy collision and fusion may be a relatively mild process and will not have a huge impact on the celestial bodies in the galaxy, scientists are not sure what the real situation is.
Another way to understand the future collision and fusion of the Milky way and Andromeda galaxy is to observe the collision and fusion process of other galaxies in the universe. As long as we can observe and study the impact of collision and fusion of other galaxies, we will understand the future collision and fusion fate of the Milky way and Andromeda galaxy.
Scientists have discovered a galaxy merging landscape in the universe through astronomical telescopes. The Whirlpool Galaxy is 60000 light-years in diameter, about 25-33% of the Milky way, and is located in Orion, 23.16 million light-years away. It is the first spiral galaxy identified by astronomers and is in the process of merging with its companion NGC 5195.
From the perspective of NASA’s nuclear spectrum telescope array (NuStar), we can see the spectacular scene of Galaxy merging. The two galaxies are spiral galaxies, one large and the other small. Under the action of gravity, they keep close to each other in rotation. As the distance gets closer and closer, a large number of gas clusters rush wantonly, providing rich “nourishment” for the supermassive black hole that lurks in the core of the galaxy, while the black hole that devours the supermassive gas releases strong X-rays from the accretion disk.
In fact, the fusion process of two large galaxies is also the fusion process of two massive black holes. At this time, due to the effect of gravity, a large number of celestial bodies and cosmic dust appear. Some of them will enter the accretion disk of the black hole and emit intense cosmic rays. This is also the reason why scientists can observe the merger of the two galaxies.
When science observed the merging process of this galaxy 23.16 million light-years away, it found a strange celestial body. This celestial body is in the sound of the galaxy, showing a green light spot. So what will it be? Through research, scientists found that this dazzling green spot is a mysterious and strange neutron star in the universe.
We all know that at the end of a star’s evolution, when life comes to an end, the final outcome will be different according to the mass. For a small mass star like the sun, the final outcome will be a white dwarf. After the death of a medium mass star, it will evolve into a neutron star, while a large mass star may collapse and eventually form a black hole.
Black hole and neutron star are two mysterious objects in the universe. In terms of mass, black hole is the most massive object in the universe, followed by neutron star. The density of neutron stars is very close. If a planet the size of earth shrinks into a neutron star, it may be about the size of a basketball. From this we can see how powerful neutron stars are.
Scientists have found that the X-ray radiation emitted by the neutron star between the vortex galaxy and NGC 5195 Galaxy even exceeds that of the supermassive black hole in the core of the galaxy. One of the black holes has a mass of about 160 billion suns, but the diameter of the neutron star is only 10 kilometers. Such a small neutron star can resist the gravity of the black hole and release its own dazzling light in the process of merging two galaxies, which shows the strength of the neutron star.
Scientists do not know what the final fate of this neutron star will be. It is also unknown whether it will not be swallowed by a massive black hole. At present, the two galaxies are only in the process of preliminary close collision, and have not really completed the fusion, which has formed such a spectacular scene. By observing the collision and fusion of the two galaxies, scientists can also get more data about Galaxy fusion.
Of course, this is not the only scene of Galaxy fusion in the universe. There may be many ongoing Galaxy collisions and fusion that have not yet been transmitted to the solar system and have not entered the field of vision of observation equipment. However, the collision and fusion of these two galaxies observed by scientists happened 23.16 million years ago, and their current situation is unknown.
We know very little about galactic collisions, and the collision between the Milky way and Andromeda Galaxy took place 3.8 billion years later, which is far away from us. At that time, we might have left the solar system long ago, because the sun was transformed into a red giant, and the solar system could not survive. After 3.8 billion years of development, we can’t imagine how powerful human science and technology will be.
It is possible that 3.8 billion years later, human civilization will go out of the Milky way to explore more distant stars. At that time, we may be able to stand in the interstellar space outside the Milky way and observe the collision and fusion process of the two galaxies.
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