astronomers can now predict with certainty the next major cosmic event to affect our galaxy, Sun, and solar system: the titanic collision of our Milky Way galaxy with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The Milky Way is destined to get a major makeover during the encounter, which is predicted to happen four billion years from now. It is likely the Sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system are in no danger of being destroyed.
Two observers take in the majesty of the universe in this spectacular photo taken by astrophotographer William Praniski from the Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama on July 27, 2014. It was featured on Space.com in September. See more amazing photos from September 2014.