Researchers from the European Space Agency (ESA) have used computer simulations to show how the starry sky in the solar system will look like in 400,000 years.
The 60-second video demonstrates how the transformation of the existing constellations will take place. It was created based on images taken by the Gaia Space Telescope, which became public in December last year. In total, information was collected on 1.8 billion celestial objects – their exact coordinates, speed and orbital trajectories.
It’s no secret that the solar system is drifting through the Milky Way galaxy. The objects of the ESA video were the nearest (within 325 light years from the Sun) 40,000 stars, which, moving through space, leave long glowing trails – the estimated trajectories of celestial bodies through the galaxy over the next 400,000 years. The brighter the stripes light, the closer these stars are to the solar system.
As a result of modeling, the following became clear: after “400,000 years”, most of the stars were concentrated on the right side of the screen, while there were significantly fewer of them on the left. However, such an uneven distribution does not at all mean that the stars are affected by some powerful source of attraction, for example, a black hole. ESA employees explain this phenomenon by the constant motion of the Sun, relative to which the stars are grouped in such a configuration.