In 3.6 billion years, the retrograde orbit of Neptune’s largest moon Triton will have decayed to the point where the moon will be torn apart by the planet’s gravity. At this time, the Andromeda galaxy will also be starting to interact with the Milky Way in a galactic collision which will take place over millions of years. Andromeda is already visible to the naked eye, but in 3.6 billion years, the galaxy will be an enormous and spectacular site in our skies. In this image I’m depicting both of these events in a scene which will almost certainly occur in the far future. The view shows the planet Neptune from within the ring of debris left over from Triton’s destruction. In the background, the approaching galaxy is yet another reminder that nothing lasts forever.
I used Vue 11 Pioneer to render the fragments of Triton. There are about ten different fragments in this scene which I kept duplicating to create the debris ring. The planet Neptune was painted in Photoshop and is offered as a stock image here: fav.me/d6omt6u
. The image of Andromeda was also painted entirely in Photoshop and is my first attempt at a spiral galaxy. Also, check out a similar image I made up using this scene called "The Fossil" found here fav.me/d6s5yc0