M77 (Cetus A, NGC 1068) is the prototype of pecular class of extragalactic objects known as Seyfert galaxies, having very active nuclei and showing strong emission lines similar to quasars.
The galaxy is shining at 8.9mag at a real distance of about 50 million lightyears. The diameter of the bright part is about 120'000 light years, while the faint extensions are going to nearly 170'000 lightyears, one of the biggest objects in Charles Messier's catalog.
The galaxy in the upper left corner is NGC 1072 with a visual brightness of 13.4 mag.
[from O'Meara, SEDS]
Telescope: RCOS 14.5" f/8
Mount: ASA DDM85
Detector: Apogee U16M
Filters: Astrodon Gen 2
Exposures: L:R:G:B 440:140:160:140 min (20 min subs)
Observatory: ROSA, France