Big, beautiful spiral galaxy
is often touted as an analog to our own
About 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation
NGC 7331 was recognized early on as
nebula and is actually one of the brighter
in Charles Messier's famous
18th century catalog.
Since the galaxy's disk
is inclined to our line-of-sight, long
telescopic exposures often result in an image that evokes a strong
sense of depth.
The effect is further enhanced in
this deep image
by the galaxies that lie beyond the gorgeous
The background galaxies are about one tenth the
of NGC 7331 and so lie roughly ten times farther away.
Their strikingly close alignment on the sky with NGC 7331
The visual grouping of galaxies is
known as the
Deer Lick Group.
Credit & Copyright:
Ralf Muendlein (data acquisition),
Wolfgang Kloehr (processing)