Hubble captures awe-inspiring PHOTO of Triangulum galaxy that spans 19,400 light-years

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

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) on Monday released the most detailed image of our close neighbor, the Triangulum Galaxy-located a mere 3 million light years from Earth.

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.

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. It can be seen with the naked eye under the right conditions-it appears as a "faint, blurry object in the constellation of Triangulum", a statement from Hubble said. The end result is the most detailed image yet of the third-largest galaxy in our Local Group of galaxies with a whopping 665 million pixels. Its diameter is only 60 thousand light years in comparison with 200 thousand the galaxy Andromeda or 100 thousand the milky Way.

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. Astronomer Steven Bellavia, an engineer at Brookhaven National Laboratory, coincidentally sent me an image he took of the galaxy with a 71mm refracting telescope and 20 megapixel astronomy camera over the course of two hours. "Most notably, Triangulum's star formation is 10 times more intense than in the comparable Hubble panorama of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy".

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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. It does, however, contain a huge amount of gas and dust, giving rise to rapid star formation.

In contrast to the two larger spirals, Triangulum doesn't have a bright bulge at its center and it also lacks a bar connecting its spiral arms to the center.

During star formation, the clouds of gas and dust in galaxies are used to fuel growth.

These enormous stellar nurseries rank among the largest and brightest in the Local Cluster, shining with the light of ionized hydrogen.It was the presence of these active star forming regions that led astronomers to target Messier 33 with the Hubble telescope.

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