This purple-dotted images is of the northern galaxy M33 located nearly 3 million light-years away from Earth. The image was a personal accomplishment for astrophotographer Chris Schur taken from Payson, Arizona in October.
"This is my deepest shot yet," Schur wrote in an email to Space.com. "Taken over several nights, the depth of the hydrogen alpha regions arebrought out to their maximum here." [Check out these awesome galaxy crash photos]
M33, also known as the Triangulum Galaxy, is a member of what's known as the Local Group of galaxies, which is made up of our own Milky Way and roughly 30 other galaxies. This galactic cousin is presently some 2.9 million light-years away in the constellation Triangulum. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year, about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).
While M33 is a spiral galaxy like our own Milky Way, it is quite different. It has little or no central bulge of stars, and astronomers figure if it has a central black hole, the mass of it is probably no more than 3,000 times that of our sun.
Schur used a 10" f/3.9 Orion Astrograph Newtonian with Baader MPCC on a Astrophysics 1200 QMD mount with SBIG 10XME NABG with Enhanced Water Cooling CCD camera.
You can see more amazing night sky photos by our readers in our astrophotography archive here.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share with us and our news partners for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get the Space.com Newsletter
Breaking space news, the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!
Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for Space.com. She began writing and producing content for Space.com in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.