LA SILLA HAS A LOOK AT THE MILKY WAY’S TWIN
Image Credit & Copyright: European Southern Observatory (ESO)
This beautiful image of spiral galaxy NGC 6744 comes from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at La Silla. This galaxy is regarded as being the most like our own Milky Way galaxy with its long stretched spiral arms packed with gas, dust and star birth. It even comes with a satellite galaxy cataloged as NGC 6744A (smudge at bottom right) similar to the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. There’s even a supermassive black hole at its nucleus. It’s almost as if an intergalactic friend in Andromeda or nearby local galaxy snapped an image of our home star city for us then sent it UPS via wormhole.
The main difference is that NGC 6744 here is much larger than the Milky Way with a diameter of about 175,000 light years vs the Milky Way’s 100,000 light year estimate.
If you live in the southern hemisphere, go have a look at this twin of the Milky Way.
NAME: NGC 6744, Caldwell 101.
WHAT IS IT?: Spiral galaxy.
HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: 30 million light years.
HOW BIG IS IT?: About 175,000 light years in diameter and about two-thirds the width of the Full Moon on the night sky.
APPARENT MAGNITUDE?: Around 9 or +9 which, in very dark sky locations is within binocular view if you know what you’re looking for.
WHERE IS IT? (General): Constellation Pavo “The Peacock.”
WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 19h 9m 46.19s / DEC -63° 51′ 28.80″.