Whirlpool Galaxy
The larger of these two interacting galaxies, known as M51 is 50,000 light years across. Its companion galaxy, NGC 5195 seems to be "sharing" one of the spiral arms. The pair is 15 million light years away.

This photo was taken from our backyard in Kenmore, Washington around 12:30 am on May 24, 2002.

848 mm focal length, f/8
4 x 3-minute exposures
No filters used