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Our neighbouring Andromeda galaxy might not be as big and deadly as we thought, study reveals

Andromeda galaxy
Andromeda and Milky Manner will merge into one another after some 4 billion years
ESA/Hubble & NASA

Milky Manner is on the right track to collide with its closest galactic neighbour Andromeda in about 4 billion years. A brand new research has revealed that the believable consequence of that huge cosmic merger may not be what astronomers had initially anticipated.

Andromeda and Milky Manner are separated by greater than two million mild years and are shifting in direction of one another. Nonetheless, regardless of being this shut by cosmic requirements, we’ve got completely misunderstood our neighbour, a new study, printed in Month-to-month Notices of the Royal Astronomical Societyhas recommended.

Earlier fashions recommended that Andromeda is 2 to 3 occasions larger than Milky Manner and is very large sufficient to eat up our galaxy within the merger. However, scientists from the Worldwide Centre for Radio Astronomy Analysis are positing that this may not be the case.

Utilizing a revolutionary method for measuring galactic mass, the group, led by astrophysicist Prajwal Kafle, discovered that the galaxy is roughly as massive as our personal, with each being round 800 billion occasions heavier than the Solar.

“We had thought there was one largest galaxy and our personal Milky Manner was barely smaller however that situation has now fully modified,” stated Kafle after the shocking discover. He even famous that the earlier fashions went fallacious as a result of the quantity of darkish matter within the neighbouring galaxy was overestimated.

“By analyzing the orbits of high-speed stars, we found that this galaxy has far much less darkish matter than beforehand thought, and solely a 3rd of that uncovered in earlier observations,” the astrophysicist added.

The 2 galaxies are a part of bigger ‘native group’ of some 30 galaxies masking 10 million mild years and this discover offers scientists new insights into that assortment. “It is actually thrilling that we have been capable of give you a brand new methodology and immediately 50 years of collective understanding of the native group has been turned on its head.”

That means, when the collision truly occurs Andromeda may not totally engulf our galaxy. The precise consequence, nevertheless, will likely be revealed with upcoming simulations of the 2 galaxies, the researchers stated.

The researchers received to this discovery after measuring the velocity required to flee a galaxy. “When a rocket is launched into area, it’s thrown out with a velocity of 11km/s to beat the Earth’s gravitational pull,” Kafle stated. “Our residence galaxy, the Milky Manner, is over a trillion occasions heavier than our tiny planet Earth so to flee its gravitational pull we’ve got to launch with a velocity of 550km/s.

“We used this system to tie down the mass of Andromeda,” he added.


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