Behold: lovely spiral galaxy NGC 289 – about 70 million light-years away and much larger than our own dear Milky Way. To wit:

Seen nearly face-on, its bright core and colourful central disk give way to remarkably faint, bluish spiral arms. The extensive arms sweep well over 100 thousand light-years from the galaxy’s centre. At the lower right in this sharp, telescopic galaxy portrait the main spiral arm seems to encounter a small, fuzzy elliptical companion galaxy interacting with enormous NGC 289. Of course spiky stars are in the foreground of the scene. They lie within the Milky Way toward the southern constellation Sculptor.

(Image: Mike Selby)

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