|Albert van Duin
| This image shows an interesting part of the sky in the constellation Ursa Major, located just below the bowl of the Big Dipper. The biggest galaxy is NGC 3718 (aka Arp 214), a peculiar spiral galaxy. The other galaxy, NGC 3729, is classified as a barred spiral and is located about 150,000 light year from NGC 3718.
The peculiar appearance of NGC 3718 is due to the fact that the gas and dust disk of this galaxy is remarkably warped and twisted, with the inner gas disk being polar with respect to the inner stellar disk and while warping toward the plane of the stellar disk in the outer regions. The HI work on this galaxy done by Ulrich Schwarz in the 80's is one of the classic WSRT studies of that period.
Both NGC 3718 and NGC 3729 are at a distance about 50 million light years. On the other hand, the small group of galaxies to the right (south) of NGC 3718 is estimated to be at a distance of about 400 million light years. It is called Hickson 56 (aka Arp 322) and consists of 5 interacting galaxies. Numerous distant background galaxies can be found in the image. The limiting magnitude is about 22.
The image is a combination of 84 LRGB images, acquired between 2014 and 2016, from a backyard in Beilen (NL). The total integration time is 14 hours with a home-built 400-mm F/4.5 telescope, equipped with an 8 Megapixel cooled CCD camera.