Hubble's detailed image of nearby galaxy

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

The Hubble Space Telescope has taken an incredible image of the Triangulum Galaxy-one of the biggest and closest galaxies to the Milky Way. Now, Hubble snapped the sharpest image of the Triangle galaxy, a space structure located at approximately 2.8 million light years from us.

The Hubble Space Telescope's mind-blowing new image of the Triangulum Galaxy is nearly as huge as the galaxy itself. Wide-field view of the Triangulum Galaxy showing the extent of the survey is shown above. As noted on the website of the Observatory, the galaxy is the third largest object of the Local group and the most distant that can be seen with the naked eye.

Astronomers have measured Triangulum to be around 60,000 light-years across and contain around 40 billion stars - by comparison, the Milky Way spans an estimated 150,000 light-years and has hundreds of billions of stars. According to Science Daily, it has one order of magnitude fewer stars than the Milky Way. These numbers are hard to grasp when already in this image 10 to 15 million individual stars are visible.

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. Those shots, totaling a jaw-dropping 665 million pixels, were carefully aligned to create a single image that weighs in at over one and a half gigabytes.

The galaxy is a notable member of the Local Group of galaxies, an assembly of more than 50 galaxies bound together by gravity. The image of our cosmic neighbour is the second largest image ever created with Hubble data.


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

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

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

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.

Aside from size and appearance, the Triangulum Galaxy also lags behind Andromeda and Milky Way in terms of the number of stars they have.

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