Hubble Space Telescope Captures Awesome View of Neighboring Galaxy

Hubble Space Telescope Captures Awesome View of Neighboring Galaxy

Triangulum, also called Messier 33, can be spotted by lucky skywatchers without an assist from a telescope, but it looks like a smudge. Hubble is a joint project from NASA and ESA.

As the second-largest image ever released by Hubble, it encompasses the central region of the galaxy and its inner spiral arms. The Vast spiral galaxy is located just three million light-years from Earth, and can sometimes even be seen by the naked eye as a faint, nebulous object on a clear night.

Triangulum is perfectly positioned for astronomers to study and compare to both our own Milky Way galaxy and one of our other neighbors, Andromeda, as it faces directly towards us, showcasing its near-perfect distribution of stars along its well-defined spiral structure.

Further research may determine if Triangulum is actually a newer member of the Local Group of galaxies. By comparison, the Andromeda Galaxy is 200,000 light-years across and the Milky Way is 100,000 light-years in diameter. Wide-field view of the Triangulum Galaxy showing the extent of the survey is shown above.

The runt of the litter also lacks the conventional bright bulge at its heart and does not have a bar connecting its spiral arms to the center.

"These detailed observations of the Triangulum Galaxy have tremendous legacy value", according to the ESA's Hubble Space Telescope website.

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'The star formation rate intensity is 10 times higher than the area surveyed in the Andromeda galaxy in 2015'.

NASA says the image shows "a full spiral face aglow with the light of almost 25 million individually resolved stars".

The abundance of gas clouds in the Triangulum Galaxy is precisely what drew astronomers to conduct this detailed survey.

The ESA said that the galaxy contains a huge amount of gas and dust, giving rise to rapid star formation. When stars are born, they use up material in these clouds of gas and dust, leaving less fuel for new stars to emerge.

Triangulum, also known as Messier 33 or NGC 598, is part of the Local Group - a collection of more than 50 galaxies, including the Milky Way, that are bound together by gravity.

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