Resembling a jewel studded grand staircase, the Whirlpool galaxy (M51) is one of the most sought after treasures of astronomers. Swirling with stellar gems and laced with cosmic stardust it proudly displays it's well defined spiral arms. One of the arms is punctuated with a galactic diamond, a smaller galaxy known as NGC 5195.
As we sit on our hunk of rock somewhere in the outskirts of the Milky Way, we have no way to see ourselves from the outside. The Triangulum Galaxy helps us to imagine what we could look like. It is the third-largest member of the Local Group of galaxies, which includes the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy and about 30 other smaller galaxies. This galactic wonder is one of the most distant permanent objects that can be viewed with the naked eye.