Hubble clicks photo that shows future of Milky Way Galaxy

Edited By: Manas Joshi
New Delhi Updated: May 21, 2022, 09:41 AM(IST)

(Image: Hubble Space Telescope) Galaxy NGC 474 as captured by Hubble. Photograph:( Others )

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As much as we love our Milky Way Galaxy, it is on collision course with an even bigger galaxy. Andromeda galaxy is racing towards Milky Way at an unimaginable speed

James Webb Space Space Telescope may be humanity's future 'eye in the sky' but good ol' Hubble telescope still has a place in our hearts. Hubble has faithfuly relayed images of distant stars and galaxies to Earth for three decades. The space telescope does not cease to make us awestruck, amused and appreciate the endless beauty of the cosmos.

Latest image clicked by Hubble is such. While it may not be as exciting as a colliding galaxy, exploding star but this image tells us about our future.

The photo shows an elliptical galaxy called NGC 474. It is 100 million light-years away from Earth. It is about two and a half times larger than Milky Way Galaxy. The galaxy may not have a beautiful spiral structure like our own galaxy. It just looks like a wisp or smokey haze. But studying NGC 474 galaxy is vital because it gives us glimpses of our on future.

As much as we love our Milky Way Galaxy, it is on collision course with an even bigger galaxy. Andromeda galaxy is racing towards Milky Way at an unimaginable speed.

We can breathe a little sigh of relief though because the galactic collision will take place billions of years from now. This collision of galaxies may not be as apocalyptic as movies have us believe. But immense gravities of Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies will tear material out from the cosmic dance partners. After a merger process that will last billions of years still, both galaxies will lose their spiral shapes and the resulting 'Milkdromeda' galaxy will have an elliptical shape just like NGC 474 which Hubble has clicked!  

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