Did you know there are over 125 billion galaxies in the universe? That number will most certainly increase as our universe continues to be explored.
Galaxies are made up of gases, stars, planets, asteroids and dark matter (more on that in a later post). It’s no surprise that with the hundreds of millions of objects floating in space at various rates, collisions will happen.
But even more interesting is the fact that entire galaxies can collide, too.
- X-ray NASA/CXC/IfA/D. Sanders et al; Optical NASA/STScI/NRAO/A.Evans et al
Above is an X-ray image of two galaxies that are in the beginning stages of collision.
According to NASA,
The edge-on galaxy near the top of the image is VV 340 North and the face-on galaxy at the bottom of the image is VV 340 South. Millions of years later these two spirals will merge.
Our solar system is located in the Milky Way galaxy, which is said to contain more than 200 billion stars. Nearby galaxy Andromeda is moving closer and closer to our Milky Way and eventually, the two will collide.
But don’t worry, we have about 3 billion years until that happens.