Galaxy NGC 6744 - a bit like the Milky Way, but bigger. (ESO)
This is NGC 6744, a nearby galaxy that looks remarkably like our own Milky Way as it would look if seen face-on. Both are galaxies with prominent spiral arms, an elongated, dense region at the centre, and a dusty disc. NGC 6744 even has its own distorted companion galaxy, NGC 6744A, shown here as a smudge to the lower right.
The big difference is the size: this object is roughly 200,000 light-years across, twice as big as the Milky Way. This image comes from the European Southern Observatory and was taken with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2 m telescope at La Silla. (ESO)