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Q&A: Galaxies, Galaxy Clusters, AGN, and Quasars

Q:
How long will it take for the M31 galaxy to merge with the M110 and M32 dwarf galaxies? How long will it take for a black hole in M32 to merge with the black hole in M31?

A:
Abell 2125
Simulation of a Galaxy Collision
According to one recent simulation, a possible galactic collision time scale would be 1.6 billion years, from initial encounter to a nearly final state as one object. The animation for this is at:
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2005/smg/animations.html

Note that this computer simulation is of 2 spiral galaxies each with a supermassive black hole in the center. We simply do not know enough about how galaxies form and evolve and interact to answer your question precisely.

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