February 2012 — Wide Field Imager view of a Milky Way look-alike, NGC 6744

This picture of the nearby galaxy NGC 6744 was taken with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at La Silla. The large spiral galaxy is similar to the Milky Way, making this image look like a picture postcard of our own galaxy sent from extra­galactic space. The picture was created from exposures taken through four different filters that passed blue, yellow–green, red light, and the glow coming from hydrogen gas. These are shown in this picture as blue, green, orange and red, respectively.

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