NGC 6300 is a really unusual galaxy in a really unusual part of the sky. The southern part of the constellation Ara (the Altar) is still pretty much in the thick of the Milky Way. NGC 6300 can be found 10° away from the center of the Norma Cloud. No wonder that the foreground is beautiful and packed with stars even using bigger enlargements.
The galaxy itself is interesting as well: it is a dusty barred Seyfert galaxy with an inner ring. Visually it is surprising that its core is not stellar as expected from a Seyfert galaxy. The core is tiny but clearly extended and not that very bright. This is because the active nucleus is obscured by dust clouds in its neighborhood. Another curiosity is that the nucleus does not coincide with the center of rotation.
The visual observation of the galaxy is hindered by the huge number of foreground stars. The system looks like a diffuse nebula at first sight. Furthermore the details lack contrast due to the dusty nature of the galaxy. This is visible in the telescope as well. Namely the intensity differences of the galaxy are very subtle. Besides the bright thread running through the bar I could see two brighter spots in each end of the arms. It's interesting that the bright spots at the ends of the bar that are so characteristic of barred spirals are missing in the case of NGC 6300.
The galaxy lies about 50 million light years away from us. Contrary to its 10.2m brightness and 2.5x1.5' size (of the visually visible brighter inner parts) it is not such an easy target. It is bright but the details need time.
You can see the ESO (European Southern Observatory) image to the left made with the 3.58m NTT (New Technology Telescope) telescope and the EFOSC detector. I rotated and cropped my inverted drawing for a better comparison.
Polar ring galaxy
Barred spiral galaxy in the thick of the Milky Way
Interacting spiral galaxy
Lupus planetary nebula
Bright bipolar planetary nebula
Norma planetary nebula
Perfectly annular planetary nebula
Interacting galaxies in Pavo