“Milky Way’s Collision” –Our Solar System May Be Hurled Into Interstellar Space

Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole

 

“While two billion years is an extremely long time compared to a human lifetime, it is a very short time on cosmic timescales,” said astrophysicist Marius Cautun, with Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology. “The destruction of the Large Magellanic Cloud, as it is devoured by the Milky Way, will wreak havoc with our galaxy, waking up the black hole that lives at its center and turning our galaxy into an ‘active galactic nucleus’ or quasar.”

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Gaia Spacecraft Reveals Ancient Collision of Two Milky Way Satellites

 

These clouds of stars called the Small Magellanic Cloud and the Large Magellanic Cloud, or SMC and LMC are satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. Using the newly released data from a new, powerful space telescope, University of Michigan astronomers have discovered that the southeast region, or “Wing,” of the Small Magellanic Cloud is moving away from the main body of that dwarf galaxy, providing the first unambiguous evidence that the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds recently collided.

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