NGC2997 is a face-on unbarred spiral galaxy in the Atlia ("The Air Pump" !) constellation. It is located about 25 million light-years away (which means that the galaxy appears on this image as it was some 25 millions years ago). It is the brightest galaxy of the NGC2997 group. (text inspired from Wikipedia). With a declination of -31deg, this object is better viewed from the Southern hemisphere. Its magnitude of 10 and size of 9'x7' make it visible already with a small telescope. Dozens of small and faint galaxies can be seen in the background of this image.
The picture shown here was taken from the Atacama desert in Chile with a 50cm diameter F/8 Ritchey-Chretien telescope (Astelco) and a SBIG ST11000 CCD camera mounted on an Astelco NTM500 equatorial mount. Total exposure time is 7h50 minutes through Clear (20x10min)and Red, Green and Blue filters (9x10min each). Image acquisition and pre-processing by Stéphane, color processing by Thierry.