Hubble Captures Best Ever Image of Triangulum Galaxy | Astronomy

Rodiano Bonacci
Gennaio 9, 2019

Triangulum, also called Messier 33, can be spotted by lucky skywatchers without an assist from a telescope, but it looks like a smudge. According to NASA and ESA, the image contains nearly 25 million individually resolved stars, and you could spend a lifetime verifying whether or not that's true.

It's our neighbor in a collection of dozens of galaxies called the Local Group, and was captured in unprecedented detail in image consisting of 54 Hubble fields of view stitched together, revealing almost 25 million individually resolved stars. Some 1500 light-years across, this is one of the largest, brightest concentrations of ionized hydrogen (H II) in our Local Group of galaxies, and it is a major center of star formation.

As the junior member of this trio, the Triangulum Galaxy provides the valuable comparisons and contrasts that only a close companion can.

"These detailed observations of the Triangulum Galaxy have tremendous legacy value", according to the ESA's Hubble Space Telescope website.

This wide-field view shows the Triangulum Galaxy as seen from the ground. The Triangulum Galaxy has at least an order of magnitude less stars than the Milky Way and two orders of magnitude less than Andromeda.

The mosaic of the Triangulum Galaxy showcases the central region of the galaxy and its inner spiral arms. If it were oriented with its side facing us we'd have a much harder time picking out the millions of individual stars that make up its spiral shape.

The ESA said that the galaxy contains a huge amount of gas and dust, giving rise to rapid star formation.

The image above shows NGC 604, located within the Triangulum Galaxy. "The star formation rate intensity is 10 times higher than the area surveyed in the Andromeda galaxy in 2015".

Still, Messier 33 remains an important find, its abundance of gas clouds drawing astronomers to conduct this detailed analysis.

Triangulum is the third-largest galaxy in what's known as the Local Group of galaxies, which includes bigger neighbors Andromeda and our own Milky Way.

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