Other Galaxy Looks Just Like Our Galaxy

The European Southern Observatory has released a new image of galaxy NGC 6744, which is about 30 million light-years away, taken with a "Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope." Basically, it looks just like the Milky Way. Here's what the ESO about the picture:

We see NGC 6744 almost face on, meaning we get a dramatic bird's eye view of the galaxy's structure. If we had the technology to escape the Milky Way and could look down on it from intergalactic space, this view is close to the one we would see - striking spiral arms wrapping around a dense, elongated nucleus and a dusty disc. There is even a distorted companion galaxy - NGC 6744A, seen here as a smudge to the lower right of NGC 6744, which is reminiscent of one of the Milky Way's neighbouring Magellanic Clouds.

FYI: The ESO site is also a great place to waste time on the internet.

[ESO via Time; image via ESO]