Shell Galaxy Glows in the Night Sky (Photo)

Shell Galaxy Over Chilean Desert
Warren Keller and Steve Mazlin took this image from Star Shadows Remote Observatory PROMPT2 CTIO near La Serena, Chile. (Image credit: Star Shadows Remote Observatory: Warren Keller and Steve Mazlin)

Billions of galaxies dot our observable universe, and this image captures a less-commonly seen example, Arp 227.

Warren Keller and Steve Mazlin took this image from Star Shadows Remote Observatory PROMPT2 CTIO near La Serena, Chile.

"As we're fortunate enough to image from a premium location in the southern hemisphere, we often gravitate to the beautiful island universes of the south," Keller wrote in an email to [65 Amazing Galaxy Photos to Enjoy]

Arp 227 consists of the two galaxies, the shell galaxy NGC 474 and its blue, spiral neighbor NGC 470. The shells are faint arcs that could have been formed by a gravitational encounter or a merger with a nearby galaxy causing an effect that resembles ripples on a pond. It’s approximately 100 million light-years away within the constellation Pisces. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year, or about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers). 

The duo used a FLI PL16803 camera on a PlaneWave Ascension 200HR mount for approximately 45 hours total exposure LRGB at 1,800 seconds each.

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

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for She began writing and producing content for 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.