This is The Whirlpool—the common name of M51, a spiral galaxy estimated to be 50,000 to 100,000 light years across. The purple dots that make it look like the biggest neon sign in the Universe are X-ray sources as seen by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
NASA has published this image showing the M51 spiral galaxy—located 30 million light years away from Earth—eating a tiny galaxy like a hamster would it a tiny burrito, which you can see on its upper left.* It was obtained using data from the Chandra X-Ray space observatory and optical data from amateur telescopes on…
This photo shows the power of image post-processing. It also shows that we are a tiny speck of nothingness in the middle of a fiery cosmic fluff. Enjoy the famous M51 galaxy, like you have never seen it before.