In the past few years it has been conclusively established that the Milky Way is on a collision course with our neighboring Andromeda galaxy. While this collision will not happen for another five billion years, we know of many other examples of galaxies that are undergoing collisions. These collisions and the impacts on galaxy evolution are the focus of the research carried out by the Great Observatories All-sky LIRG Survey (GOALS), of which I am a member.
The December 2021 issue of Scientific American contains an article on our knowledge of galaxy collisions and the history of its study, written by two members of the GOALS collaboration, Aaron Evans and Lee Armus. It summarizes our understanding of galaxy collisions and the implications for the fate of our galaxy. The article also provides a historical summary of our progress in understanding galaxy mergers. “Galaxy Collisions Preview Milky Way’s Fate” is available in digital form as well as in the print edition of the magazine.