Our solar system has remained largely unchanged for billions of years and is likely to remain this way for a long time, but this did not prevent astronomers from looking away in the future in an attempt to anticipate some major changes the galaxy at home, the Milky Way.
A new research effort supports the idea that the Milky Way is heading for a massive collision, and when this happens, it could dramatically affect our solar system and perhaps even the Earth itself. The good news is that mankind will probably have gone before, in one way or another.
The study, conducted by Durham University researcher, focuses on the relationship between the Milky Way and a satellite galaxy known as Cloud Magellanic (CML for short). The LMC is current that moves away from our galaxy at a high speed, and is now about 63,000 light-years away. However, it is about to change, and computer models suggest that LMC eventually collides with our galaxy in a chaotic mess that could even cast our solar system into space.
In the paper, the researchers explain that an initial blow that glanced between the two galaxies could blow up our solar space and even affect the habitats of the Earth itself. After the collision, the supermassive black hole believing that it is resting in the center of the Milky Way could increase up to ten times the size of the current size.
But what does that mean to humanity? Well, not too much at this point. The event is not expected to happen for another 2.5 billion years, and if mankind has not already transformed the Earth into an uninhabited wasteland on its own, we will certainly have enough time to come up with an exit strategy if one is necessary. Hopefully.