This sharp telescopic
field of view
holds two bright galaxies.
(top right) and
nearly edge-on system
on the sky by about 0.5 degrees or about the apparent width of a full moon.
Found within the boundaries of the serpentine
both are estimated to be around 90 million light-years away and
similar in size to our own large Milky Way galaxy.
if they both lie at the same distance their
separation would be only 800,000 light-years or so.
That's easily less than half the distance between the
Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy.
NGC 5078 is interacting with a smaller companion galaxy, cataloged as
IC 879, seen just below and left of the larger galaxy's bright core.
Even more distant background galaxies are scattered
around the colorful field.
Some are even visible right through the face-on disk of NGC 5101.
But the prominent spiky stars are in
the foreground, well within our own Milky Way.