Seems I revisit this pair of galaxies, 12 million light-years distant, every year. Although they are close and bright as galaxies go, they are challenging targets for imaging – especially if you are trying to pull out the faint jets spewing out of the Cigar Galaxy on the right.
This image represents over 17 hours of exposure time, including 9 hours through a special filter that detects ionized Hydrogen. That’s where the red spots and filaments in this image are coming from. Imagine – we’re seeing nebulae within another galaxy here!