Spiral galaxy NGC 3521 is olny 35 million light-years from Earth, toward the constellation Leo. Spanning some 50,000 light-years, the galaxy sports characteristic patchy, irregular spiral arms laced with dust, pink star forming regions, and clusters of young, blue stars. This deep image shows NGC 3521 embedded in gigantic bubble-like shells. The shells are likely tidal debris, streams of stars torn from satellite galaxies that have undergone mergers with NGC 3521 in the distant past.
Image Credits: R Jay Gabany (Blackbird Obs.), Collaboration: David Martinez-Delgado (MPIA, IAC), et al.