Strangely, this is not in the news. There is a coming crisis and there appears to be not a goddamned thing we can do about it. But first: some background.
It is often said that the Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest galaxy to the Milky Way. This is not actually true. It is just that it is the nearest big galaxy to us. Galaxies are like solar systems: they have satellites, and maybe those satellites have satellites. The Milky Way has at least 26 satellite galaxies. Andromeda has at least 36. It’s a wonder you can still find parking downtown!
With all of this celestial congestion, it’s no surprise that things are always running into each. And as it turns out, the Andromeda Galaxy is headed straight for us! And it is going to be really bad. But there’s good news: we have a lot of time to prepare. Roughly four billion years. But it’s not like we can just focus on this problem. Undoubtedly many life destroying asteroids and comets will hit the earth during that time. Also the luminosity of the sun is raising; in only one billion years, it will be so bright that the oceans will evaporate. And there is always the possibility of a supernova nearby that will kill all life on earth. There really is so much to prepare for, and that isn’t even including the upcoming Debt Ceiling crisis.
Actually, I fully expect that humans will go extinct within 10,000 years. But even assuming the very best of our species (And regular readers will know what I think of that!) we don’t have more than 100,000 years on this planet. That’s kind of a cheerful thought, when you consider that’s how long we’ve already been here. That is assuming we even exist, which I mostly doubt.
Regardless of all this, the smart and hard working people at NASA have put together the following video to show what’s going to happen to the Milky Way Galaxy when our sister Local Group galaxy rams into us. It is really cool. And it helps me keep things in perspective. But nonetheless, I still worry about that Debt Ceiling.