(Digital India) Our Milky Way galaxy will survive in its current form a bit longer than some astronomers had thought, a new study suggests.

The monster collision between our Milky Way and fellow spiral galaxy Andromeda will occur about 4.5 billion years from now, according to the new research, which is based on observations made by Europe’s Gaia spacecraft. Some prominent previous estimates had predicted the crash would happen significantly sooner, in about 3.9 billion years.

“This finding is crucial to our understanding of how galaxies evolve and interact,” Gaia project scientist Timo Prusti, who was not involved in the study, said in a statement.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.