NGC891 galaxy looks as we think Milky Way would look like when viewed edge-on. In fact both galaxies are considered very similar in terms of luminosity and size. The galaxy is in the constellation Andromeda and was discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1784. It is a part of NGC1023 galaxy group and also a part of Local Supercluster. Galaxy is about 27 million light years away and its apparent magnitude is 10.8, so it can be just spotted in 4 inch telescope as a light smudge. To see dust line across galaxy one needs much larger instrument, at least 12-14 inches aperture. High resolution images of this galaxy show unusual filamentary patterns in the dusty disk (barely visible in my image). Scientists presume that supernova explosions can cause the dust to be thrown out of the galactic disk to the halo.
NGC891 is not the only galaxy in this picture – there are dozens of them. In the lower left part there is Abell 347 galaxy cluster. The cluster is about 200 million light years away and seven of them are brighter than 14 mag, so they are available for visual observers that have 10″ or larger scope. The Abell 347 galaxy cluster is a part of one of the largest structures in the universe – the Perseus-Pisces Supercluster.
Once again comparison between my work and image from Hubble Space Telescope:
Impressive, isn’t it? And the HST image is actually scaled down to 50% of original resolution.
And the full frame:
* “Island universe” is a term for galaxy proposed by Edwin Hubble in year 1924 when he discovered that some of observed nebulaes are actually other galaxies like the Milky Way and contains billions of stars. 90 years ago all galaxies were known as our Milky Way nebulaes, and since that time universe grown millions times.