Friday, September 21, 2012

Triangulum Galaxy

Image of the Triangulum Galaxy (M33) in Triangulum.  It is sometimes incorrectly called the Pinwheel Galaxy, a name properly given to M101.

At 2.5 million light-years away, this galaxy is part of the "Local Group" whose three largest members are the Andromeda, Milky Way, and Triangulum galaxies. It can be found in the same region of the sky as the Andromeda galaxy which is easier to find with the naked eye.  I simply follow the "pointer" stars Beta and Mu Andromedae in the opposite direction.

Image was taken from Georgetown with a TMB-130SS refractor with a QSI-540 CCD and Astronomik RGB filters.  Exposure lengths of 500s R, 400s G, 600s B.  Diffraction spikes on the stars were added in post-processing.

Within the arms of the galaxy in this image, you should be able to find several large emission nebulae glowing pink.

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