ESO astronomers have used the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope to capture an image of NGC 6744. This impressive spiral galaxy lies about 30 million light-years away in the southern constellation of Pavo (The Peacock). But this view could almost be a picture postcard of our own Milky Way, taken and sent by an extragalactic friend, as this galaxy closely resembles our own.
The Sun unleashed an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare, an S1-class radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 7, 2011. The large cloud of particles mushroomed up and fell back down looking as if it covered an area of almost half the solar surface as this image, taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows.