Release Images

Release No.: 2007-14
For Release: Sunday, May 13, 2007 - 8:00pm

When Galaxies Collide, our Solar System Will Go for a Ride

future Earth

The sun and solar system will be hurled into deep space when the Milky Way collides with Andromeda in a few billion years. This artist's conception shows the future Earth, whose oceans have boiled away due to the Sun's increasing heat, exiled to the outskirts of the new merged galaxy that astronomers have dubbed "Milkomeda."

David A. Aguilar (CfA)

Milky Way and Andromeda

This computer simulation follows the Milky Way (lower left) and Andromeda (upper right) spiral galaxies as they collide and merge. The simulation begins 5 billion years in the past and proceeds through the present day to a time about 10 billion years in the future. When this collision takes place, the sun and solar system are likely to be flung into the galactic outskirts, some 100,000 light-years from the center of the new "Milkomeda" galaxy.

T.J. Cox (CfA)