Sparkling as an island universe adrift in the cosmic ocean, it is one of many close to our own. If the Milky Way had a smaller twin many think Triangulum Galaxy (M33) would be it. With a mere 40 billion stars M33 doesn't measure up to our own galaxy with more than 200 billion stars. It doesn't even come close to the size of its big brother, the massive Andromeda galaxy that boast a mind-blowing 1 trillion alien suns.
The Triangulum floats along side of Andromeda as its satellite galaxy. Both are spinning towards the Milky Way at a speed of 24 km/second. This dazzling spiral is only around 3 million light years from Earth. Even though it is the baby of the family it still has its own cosmic treasures, such as bright stellar nurseries and luminous nebulae. It even has a small satellite galaxy of its own, called the Pisces Dwarf Galaxy.
This breathtaking image was taken by astrophotographer Jeff Johnson from Las Cruces, New Mexico. You can view more of Jeff's incredible photos on his website www.jeffjastro.com.