NASA Hubble telescope snaps bonkers view of Triangulum Galaxy

This new image from Hubble shows an elliptical galaxy called Messier 105. Image credit NASA  ESA  Hubble  C. Sarazin et

The spectacular vista is in fact a giant mosaic, formed from 54 separate images created by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys.

Measuring only 60,000 light years across, Triangulum is the smallest spiral galaxy in the group, compared to the 200,000 light years of the Andromeda Galaxy, and the Milky Way's 100,000 light-year diameter.

Study author Julianne Dalcanton of the University of Washington in Seattle, said, 'My first impression on seeing the Hubble images was, wow, that really is a lot of star formation. Wide-field view of the Triangulum Galaxy showing the extent of the survey is shown above.

But in a new 665-million pixel image taken by the NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope, the spiral galaxy's billions of stars are brightly showcased. 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.

The extremely bright blue region visible in the top-left hand corner is a solar nursery contained within a nebula of hot, ionised hydrogen gas, where stars are born.

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

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It also has at least an order of magnitude less stars than the Milky Way and two orders of magnitude less than Andromeda.

Further research may determine if Triangulum is actually a newer member of the Local Group of galaxies. "The star formation rate intensity is 10 times higher than the area surveyed in the Andromeda galaxy in 2015". If it were oriented with its side facing us we'd have a much harder time picking out the millions of individual stars that make up its spiral shape.

The galaxy contains a huge amount of gas and dust, giving rise to rapid star formation.

Still, Messier 33 remains an important find, its abundance of gas clouds drawing astronomers to conduct this detailed analysis.

Many other Hubblecast episodes are also available.

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