Is there anything more magnificent than a "grand design" spiral galaxy? This is NGC 6118
, a gorgeous galaxy 80 million light years away. It's about 100,000 light years across, the same size as the Milky Way. It's not an identical twin; our galaxy is a barred spiral
, with a hefty rectangular clump of stars in the center. Still, NGC 6118 is very similar to ours.
It's a fantastic image, but didn't make my Top 14 cut because I liked the M51 image better, and there was more science in the M51 image as well. It was tough; this picture is really spectacular. But sometimes that's not enough to make it to the big leagues.Get the hi-res version here.
Image credit: ESO