While one instrument of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope observed a pair of spiral galaxies for its 27th anniversary last month, another simultaneously observed a nearby patch of the sky to obtain this wide-field view.
These ‘parallel field’ observations increase the telescope’s productivity.
This parallel field shows an area of the sky awash largely with spiral galaxies like our Milky Way. Most of the prominent galaxies look different only because they are tilted at various orientations to our viewpoint – from edge-on to face-on. A few others are interacting or merging.
The image also shows a number of foreground stars in our own galaxy.
More image formats available here.