Gaze In Awe At Hubble's Most Detailed View Of The Triangulum Galaxy

10 Janvier, 2019, 13:27 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • NGC 604

Astronomers have pieced together a massive mosaic of the nearby Triangulum Galaxy from images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Triangulum is one of the farthest objects that can be seen with the naked eye in dark skies - it's in the Triangulum constellation, near Andromeda.

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.

This huge image of the Triangulum Galaxy - also known as Messier 33 - is a composite of about 54 different pointings with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys.

The Triangulum Galaxy - also known as Messier 33 or NGC 598 - is part of the "Local Group", meaning it is part of the same group of galaxies that the Milky Way belongs to. 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. It measures only about 60 000 light-years across, compared to the 200 000 light-years of the Andromeda Galaxy; the Milky Way lies between these extremes at about 100 000 light-years in diameter.

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A separate statement noted that "as the junior member of this trio of spiral galaxies, Triangulum provides the valuable comparisons and contrasts that only a close companion can".

"My first impression on seeing the Hubble images was, wow, that really is a lot of star formation,"said astronomer Julianne Dalcanton of the University of Washington in Seattle, who led the project. "The star formation rate intensity is 10 times higher than the area surveyed in the Andromeda galaxy in 2015".

Usually when astronomers talk about our neighbouring galaxy, they're talking about Andromeda, which is a cozy 2.5 million light-years away.

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

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