The Milky Way, the galaxy which includes our own solar system, is expanding and will eventually become its neighbour, Andromeda.
Currently 100,000 light years in diameter, new research study puts its rate of development at about 500 metres per second.
Its combining with Andromeda will not happen any time soon – it is anticipated to be another 4 billion years prior to they come together.
The Milky Way is the home of numerous hundred billion stars, including the sun. New stars are being developed at its outer edge and computer simulations suggested the incorporation of these stars was what was resulting in the expansion.
Researchers from the Astrophysical Institute of the Canaries in Tenerife utilized a combination of space and ground-based telescopes to observe galaxies similar to the Milky Way, and used that data to calculate its rate of development.
Lead researcher Cristina Martinez-Lombilla stated: “The Milky Way is pretty huge currently. Our work shows that at least the visible part of it is gradually increasing in size, as stars form on the stellar outskirts.
” It will not be fast, but if you could take a trip forward in time and take a look at the galaxy in three billion years’ time it would have to do with 5% larger than today.”
Presently two-and-a-half million light years apart, both the Milky Way and Andromeda are spiral nebula, however Andromeda is much larger at 110,000 light years throughout and consisting of an estimated one trillion stars.
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