Stunning details of spiral galaxy NGC 3981

This photo is awe inspiring. Think about it. Its size, its age, billions of suns. We live in an age where we can sit and discuss a galaxy so far away and so old. Just one galaxy in perhaps 2 trillion. Universe is a really big place and very old. To me, it awe inspring to see this picture and to have some knowledge of what it is, some of its properties, and roughly how and when it formed.

FORS2, an instrument mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, has observed the spiral galaxy NGC 3981 in all its glory. The image was captured as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems Programme, which makes use of the rare occasions when observing conditions are not suitable for gathering scientific data.