To see how our galaxy can change over time, scientists use computer models. For a model, a specific idea is being tested, such as the gravitational effects two planets have on one another. The scientist creates a set of parameters for this model, inputing data about the universe, for example including the known gravities of these two planets, the positions of the planets in the universe, and details about the planets orbits. Then they run the model keeping everything the same except for a couple variables they are testing for. This simulation is run multiple times, each time changing the variables slightly. Using their knowledge of the subject, the scientists hypothesize the most likely outcome. In the case of computer models, scientists are using the computer to simulate how our galaxy may change over time, but it is impossible to say whether or not this is exactly how the galaxy will change over time.
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