Hubble Captures Best Ever Image of Triangulum Galaxy | Astronomy

NASA ESA and M. Durbin J. Dalcanton and B.F. Williams

NASA ESA and M. Durbin J. Dalcanton and B.F. Williams

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 fantastic life forms reside there?"

The Triangulum Galaxy, also known as Messier 33, belongs to the Local Group - a gravitationally bound collection of more than 50 galaxies that includes the Milky Way and the nearby Andromeda Galaxy.

Under dark-sky conditions, it appears as a faint, blurry object in the constellation of Triangulum (the Triangle) and is a target for amateur astronomers.

Despite its size relative to other galaxies, it's still the third-largest galaxy in the group at just 60,000 light-years across. The high-resolution image is a composite of 54 separate images, which were captured by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. The mosaic showcases the central region of the galaxy and its 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. According to Science Daily, it has one order of magnitude fewer stars than the Milky Way.

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.

He is looking forward to taking the first observations of the local universe with the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to Hubble that is scheduled for launch in 2021.

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

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.

Which is freakish, because newborn stars devour dust and gas, leaving less fuel for new celestial bodies to emerge. 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.

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

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