Hubble Takes Gigantic Image Of Triangulum Galaxy

Sharpest View Ever of the Triangulum Galaxy

Hubble captures awe-inspiring PHOTO of Triangulum galaxy that spans 19,400 light-years As the holiday season draws to a close, the Hubble telescope has provided one truly massive parting gift: an immensely detailed photo of one of our galactic neighbors that spans 19,400 light-years across.

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. But just a little farther - okay, 500,000 light-years farther - is another spiral galaxy, the third largest in our local group. Its diameter is only 60 thousand light years in comparison with 200 thousand the galaxy Andromeda or 100 thousand the milky Way.

The full image contains nearly 25 million stars, and will help scientists study not just the Triangulum Galaxy, but Andromeda and our own.

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 Hubble Space Telescope has done it again.

The spectacular vista is in fact a giant mosaic, formed from 54 separate images created by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys.

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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.

Most notably, Triangulum's star formation is 10 times more intense than in the comparable Hubble panorama of the neighboring Andromeda.

Hubble takes images in incredibly high resolution, of course, but it's not the only telescope that can observe this galaxy.

The galaxy contains a huge amount of gas and dust, giving rise to rapid star formation. New stars form at a rate of approximately one solar mass every two years.

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

During star formation, the clouds of gas and dust in galaxies are used to fuel growth. Hubble's image shows two of the four brightest of these regions in the galaxy: NGC 595 and NGC 604. One of these is the second brightest region of ionized hydrogen found across the entire Local Group-making it ideal for the study of stellar evolution.

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