Hubble got the galaxy in the constellation of the Triangle
11 January, 2019, 01:14 | Author: Tara Reeves
But just a little farther - okay, 500,000 light-years farther - is another spiral galaxy, the third largest in our local group.
This big image of the Triangulum Galaxy - also known as Messier 33 - is a composite of about 54 different pointings with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys.
Triangulum, also called Messier 33, can be spotted by lucky skywatchers without an assist from a telescope, but it looks like a smudge. It is possible to notice the Central region of the galaxy and the inner parts of the spiral arms, which contain from 10 to 15 million individual stars.
The Hubble Space Telescope has done it again. 'My first impression on seeing the Hubble images was, wow, that really is a lot of star formation, ' project lead Julianne Dalcanton of the University of Washington said in a statement. Striking areas of star birth glow bright blue throughout the galaxy, particularly in handsome nebulas of hot, ionized hydrogen gas like star-forming region NGC 604 in the upper left.
AStronomers are now studying the data to see how Triangulum compares to our own Milky Way galaxy and the third large spiral in the Local Group, the Andromeda galaxy.
The Andromeda Galaxy was mapped by Hubble in 2015, creating the sharpest and largest image of this galaxy and the largest Hubble image ever.
The spectacular vista is in fact a giant mosaic, formed from 54 separate images created by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. That huge amount of gas and dust allows for rapid star formation, at a rate of approximately one solar mass every two years.
Another difference between the Triangulum Galaxy and the two more popular spiral galaxies is that the former does not have a bright bulge in its center. "Uncovering the Triangulum galaxy's story will provide an important point of reference in understanding how galaxies develop over time, and the diverse paths that shape what we see today". The latter is the second most luminous region of ionized hydrogen within the Local Group and it is also among the largest known star formation regions in the Local Group.
Usually when astronomers talk about our neighbouring galaxy, they're talking about Andromeda, which is a cozy 2.5 million light-years away.
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