This is my favourite astrophoto yet. I took it last week- 16 exposures for a total f 90 minutes. It is Centaurus A, a large, quite close galaxy that has its unusual shape owing to the fact that it is currently in the process of swallowing a smaller spiral galaxy. At its heart is a supermassive black hole with a mass 100 million times that of the sun. That sort of size puts things in perspective.
The other issue of perspective, and the reason I really like the photograph, is that you can easily see the foreground stars - the ones in our own galaxy. The sense of distance is quite acute.
I say it's a close galaxy, but I'm speaking cosmologically. It's around 13 million light
years away, meaning the photons which hit the sensor of my DSLR left
Centaurus A and began their long journey to earth at pretty much the
same time as this chap, a Sivapithecus, came down out of the
trees and on to the African grasslands, and began the complex process
of trial and error that led to the tool-use and then ultimately to the invention of the DSLR ...