Thursday, 21 March, 2019

"What Resides Within?" Hubble's Epic Image of the Triangulum Galaxy

This new image from Hubble shows an elliptical galaxy called Messier 105. Image credit NASA  ESA  Hubble  C. Sarazin et This new image from Hubble shows an elliptical galaxy called Messier 105. Image credit NASA ESA Hubble C. Sarazin et
Cary Marshall | 09 January, 2019, 19:26

Measuring only 60,000 light years across, Triangulum is the smallest spiral galaxy in the group, compared to the 200,000 light years of the Andromeda Galaxy, and the Milky Way's 100,000 light-year diameter.

The massive mosaic image of the Triangulum galaxy (M33) was released on January 7 and shows one of dozens of our celestial neighbours in our suburb of the universe known as 'the Local Group'.

Study author Julianne Dalcanton of the University of Washington in Seattle, said, 'My first impression on seeing the Hubble images was, wow, that really is a lot of star formation. 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.

This epic image of the Triangulum Galaxy - also known as Messier 33 or NGC 598 - has a staggering 665 million pixels and showcases the central region of the galaxy and its inner spiral arms.

The Triangulum Galaxy, located three million light years away from the Milky Way, is one of the most distant objects visible to the naked eye.

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The Triangulum galaxy was chosen for this ultra-high-res photo op because it's positioned such that we can view its structure in great detail. The Triangulum Galaxy has at least an order of magnitude less stars than the Milky Way and two orders of magnitude less than Andromeda. 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.

The runt of the litter also lacks the conventional bright bulge at its heart and does not have a bar connecting its spiral arms to the center.

NASA says the image shows "a full spiral face aglow with the light of almost 25 million individually resolved stars". "Most notably, Triangulum's star formation is 10 times more intense than in the comparable Hubble panorama of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy".

Which is weird, because newborn stars devour dust and gas, leaving less fuel for new celestial bodies to emerge.

Many other Hubblecast episodes are also available.

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