Hubble snaps gargantuan 665 million pixel mosaic of neighboring Triangulum Galaxy

Olive Hawkins
January 11, 2019

The snapshot of the space object, also known as Messier 33, is made up of 54 photos taken with Hubble's ACS camera, according to the European Space Agency (ESA) which reported on the image. However, the detailed image released by the Hubble telescope clearly reveals the central region of the Triangulum Galaxy and its inner spiral arms.

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 galaxy contains a huge amount of gas and dust, giving rise to rapid star formation.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Triangulum Galaxy, a spiral galaxy located at a distance of only three million light-years, inspires the question: "What wonderful life forms reside there?" It gets its name from the Triangulum constellation, where it sits.

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

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Astronomers believe that among the so-called Local Group of Galaxies, dominated by the Milky Way, our home galaxy, Andromeda, and the Triangle galaxy, the latter has remained isolated and did not interact with the other members of the group. "Most notably, Triangulum's star formation is 10 times more intense than in the comparable Hubble panorama of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy". "By counting up all the stars of different ages in a galaxy, it's possible to reconstruct a galaxy's star-formation history - that is, how many stars formed at a given time - over the entire history of the universe". The Milky Way also has at least an order of magnitude more stars than the Triangulum.

In contrast to the two larger spirals, the Triangulum Galaxy doesn't have a bright bulge at its center and it also lacks a bar connecting its spiral arms to the center.

The glowing blue areas show where stars are being born, such as in the nebulas of hot, ionized hydrogen gas like star-forming region NGC 604 in the upper left.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured an incredibly detailed image of the Triangulum Galaxy.

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