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Wild Hubble Triangulum Galaxy image is telescope's second largest ever

11 January 2019

The Triangulum Galaxy, which is also known as Messier 33 or NGC 598, is only three million light-years away and one of the most distant objects visible to the naked eye.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a striking portrait of the Triangulum Galaxy, displaying a full spiral face aglow with the light of almost 25 million individually resolved stars.

While it is the third largest galaxy in the Local Group, the Triangulum Galaxy is also the smallest spiral galaxy among Milky Way's neighbors. Unlike other galaxies, dust is distributed throughout it. "Astronomers think that in the Local Group, Triangulum has been something of an introvert, isolated from frequent interactions with other galaxies while keeping busy producing stars along organized spiral arms", another statement said.

It measures only about 60,000 light years across, compared to the 200,000 light years of the much bigger spiral Andromeda Galaxy.

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Now, it's easy to get lost in the glittering digital mosaic, comprised of 54 separate photos stitched together to showcase the galaxy's central region and inner spiral arms.

In the past, star-formation histories in the Local Group have been measured one galaxy at a time, often using different analysis techniques. Andromeda has at least two orders of magnitude more stars than the Triangulum Galaxy.

You can check out the whole 1.6GB, full-sized image through the European Space Agency's Hubble site.

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.

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This image is only a tiny part of the large wide-field image of the Triangulum Galaxy created by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

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

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

He received the 2019 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize "for his transformational work on the star-formation histories of dwarf galaxies in the Local Group, our galactic neighborhood". Hubble's image shows two of the four brightest of these regions in the galaxy: NGC 595 and NGC 604.

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Wild Hubble Triangulum Galaxy image is telescope's second largest ever