This photo illustration depicts a view of the night sky just before the predicted merger between our Milky Way Galaxy and the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy. About 3.75 billion years from now, Andromeda's disk fills the field of view and its gravity begins to create tidal distortions in the Milky Way. The view is inspired by dynamical computer modeling of the future collision between the two galaxies. The two galaxies collide about 4 billion years from now and merge to form a single galaxy about 6 billion years from now.
Credit: NASA/ESA/Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI)/A. Mellinger