Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

Hubble Takes Gigantic Image Of Triangulum Galaxy

NGC 604 NGC 604
Sandra Phillips | 11 January, 2019, 01:13

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.

Under dark-sky conditions, it appears as a faint, blurry object in the constellation of Triangulum (the Triangle) and is a target for amateur astronomers.

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. But just a little farther - okay, 500,000 light-years farther - is another spiral galaxy, the third largest in our local group. Astronomer Steven Bellavia, an engineer at Brookhaven National Laboratory, coincidentally sent me an image he took of the galaxy with a 71mm refracting telescope and 20 megapixel astronomy camera over the course of two hours.

The image consists of 54 Hubble fields-of-view taken from February 2017 to February 2018, according to a release from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

The Triangulum Galaxy, also known as Messier 33, belongs to the Local Group - a gravitationally bound collection of more than 50 galaxies that includes the Milky Way and the nearby Andromeda Galaxy.

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While obtaining his Ph.D.in astrophysics from the University of Minnesota in 2010 and during subsequent fellowships, including a Hubble Fellowship, at the University of Washington and UC Santa Cruz, he worked with Hubble observations to resolve individual stars within the dwarf galaxies in the Local Group so as to determine their brightness and temperature. 'The star formation rate intensity is 10 times higher than the area surveyed in the Andromeda galaxy in 2015.' 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.

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

Aside from size and appearance, the Triangulum Galaxy also lags behind Andromeda and Milky Way in terms of the number of stars they have.

The new Hubble image shows two of the four brightest of these regions in the galaxy: NGC 595 and NGC 604.

Many other Hubblecast episodes are also available.

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