M61 is a barred spiral galaxy located in the nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. Visible in M61 are a host of features common to spiral galaxies: bright spiral arms, a central bar, dust lanes, and bright knots of stars. M61, also known as NGC 4303, in similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy. M61 was discovered by telescope in 1779 twice on the same day, but one observer initially mistook the galaxy for a comet. Light from M61 takes about 45 million years to reach us, and since light travels 6 trillion miles in a year, you can calculate how far is this galaxy.

In the same field of view, there are two more galaxies. The one in the center bottom is NGC 4301 and one on upper left is NGC 4292. I couldn’t find distance to these galaxies, but, it won’t be a surprise, if it’s in excess of 200 million light years, going by their size.

I took this image in January & February of 2021 over 17.5 hours (Luminance 39 images of 20 minutes each and 9 images of 10 minutes each of all the 3 colors).

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