Spiral Galaxy M31

This is an acrylic painting with a few digital additions. It shows the Andromeda Galaxy, M31, the nearest large spiral system to our own Milky Way, which is comparable in size. Looking over the shoulder of the great galaxy, we see one of its small elliptical companion galaxies, then the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds, about two and a half million light years away. In the foreground is one of M31's many orbiting globular star clusters.
Image copyright by Joe Bergeron.