Galaxy Messier 61
Galaxy M61 in Virgo is similar in size to the Milky Way, with a diameter of 100,000 light years.  Like the Milky Way, it appears midway between a barred and
normal spiral, and its arms are somewhat open, givng rise to a classification of SABbc.  It is among the most active galaxies, with 6 supernova observed since
1926.  This ties the record of
M83 for Messier galaxies, but remailns short of the record 9 supernova observed in NGC 6946.  These supernova act as
"starndard candles" that allow a reliable calculated distance of 60 million light years.  The smaller barred spiral galaxy NGC 4301 in the lower left of the image
(type SBc) also hosted a supernova in 1979.

This image combined 80 minutes clear luminance unbinned with  60 minutes of red, 40 minutes green and 55 minutes of blue exposures, binned 2 x 2.  An
ST10XME camera was used through a 12" Meade LX200R telescope at the Hidden Lake Observatory.
Music:  You're my best friend, Queen
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