Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Gaze in Awe at Hubble's Most Detailed View of the Triangulum Galaxy

Gaze in Awe at Hubble's Most Detailed View of the Triangulum Galaxy

The Triangulum Galaxy is a spiral galaxy located about three million light-years away from the Milky Way.

Hubble captures awe-inspiring PHOTO of Triangulum galaxy that spans 19,400 light-years As the holiday season draws to a close, the Hubble telescope has provided one truly massive parting gift: an immensely detailed photo of one of our galactic neighbors that spans 19,400 light-years across.

Under favorable conditions, the galaxy can be seen with the naked eye as a fuzzy object in the constellation of the Triangle. 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. By comparison, the Andromeda Galaxy is 200,000 light-years across and the Milky Way is 100,000 light-years in diameter.

The image consists of 54 Hubble fields-of-view taken from February 2017 to February 2018, according to a release from the Space Telescope Science Institute. The remaining galaxies of the group orbit any one of these three larger members. The Milky Way is also a part of the group.

Hubble, the trusty space telescope that has been delivering gorgeous views of the cosmos for decades now, just delivered another gift.

The latest image was taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys.

"These detailed observations of the Triangulum Galaxy have tremendous legacy value - combined with those of the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy and the irregular Magellanic Cloud galaxies, they will help astronomers to better understand star formation and stellar evolution", the European Space Agency said.

The runt of the litter also lacks the conventional bright bulge at its heart and does not have a bar connecting its spiral arms to the center. The Triangulum Galaxy also contains two orders of magnitude less than Andromeda. New stars form at a rate of approximately one solar mass every two years.

The glowing blue areas show where stars are being born, such as in the nebulas of hot, ionized hydrogen gas like star-forming region NGC 604 in the upper left. "Uncovering the Triangulum galaxy's story will provide an important point of reference in understanding how galaxies develop over time, and the diverse paths that shape what we see today".

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