NASA, ESA, and M. Mutchler (STScI)
When the Hubble Space Telescope launched aboard the Space Shuttle
Discovery on April 24, 1990, astronomers could only dream what they
might see. Now, 27 years and more than a million observations later, the
telescope delivers yet another magnificent view of the universe - this
time, a striking pair of spiral galaxies much like our own Milky Way.
These island cities of stars, which are approximately 55 million light-
years away, give astronomers an idea of what our own galaxy would look
like to an outside observer. The edge-on galaxy (at left) is called NGC 4302, and the tilted galaxy (at right) is NGC 4298. Although the pinwheel galaxies look quite
different because they are angled at different positions on the sky, they
are actually very similar in terms of their structure and contents.