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PostSubject: Milkyway collision    Milkyway collision  EmptyTue Aug 23, 2011 11:55 am

I read that the milkyway will collide with andromeda. Not for another 5 Billion years, but what are the chances of this collision creating habitable planets? Is it possible?
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PostSubject: Re: Milkyway collision    Milkyway collision  EmptyTue Aug 23, 2011 11:58 am

During the interaction phase, (where the galaxies pass through each other a few times as their orbits spin down) there is usually quite a huge amount of new star formation, and likewise new planet formation. So habbital planent formign would definately be possible.

However as both the Milkyway and Andromeda Galaxies appear to be close to the upper limit in size for spiral galaxes, it's assumed at the final stages of the merger there'll be a giant elliptical galaxy, made from the redder older stars form the inner portiosn of the galaxies, the spiral arms having been flung out to space where some may reform as dwarf galaxies and satalites of the new elliptical galaxy. These dwarf galaxies will still have activly forming star regions, but the elliptical main body will almost have no new star forming (or planet forming) activity.

It appears that once spiral galaxy's reach a certain size, and merges with others, then the result seems to be large elliptical galaxies with older-redder stars. As these don't have the density wave arms, new star/planet formation in them is almost negligible.

There is one giant spiral galaxy spanning 650,000 LY (Malin 1) instead the 150,000 LY of Milky way or 200,000 LY of Andromeda, but it's an unknown if merger's could become surper-giant spirals, or if Malin 1 is an oddity in size due to it's lack of galactic neighbors.
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