M33: The Triangulum Galaxy

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The Triangulum Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 3 million light years (ly) from Earth in the constellation Triangulum. It is catalogued as Messier 33 or NGC 598, and is sometimes informally referred to as the Pinwheel Galaxy, a nickname it shares with Messier 101. The Triangulum Galaxy is the third-largest member of the Local Group of galaxies, which includes the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy and about 44 other smaller galaxies. It is one of the most distant permanent objects that can be viewed with the naked eye.

Under exceptionally good viewing conditions with no light pollution, the Triangulum Galaxy can be seen with the naked eye. It is one of the most distant permanent objects that can be viewed without the aid of a telescope.  Being a diffuse object, its visibility is strongly affected by small amounts of light pollution. It ranges from easily visible by direct vision in dark skies to a difficult averted vision object in rural or suburban skies. For this reason, Triangulum is one of the critical sky marks of the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Planewave Instruments CDK 17
Imaging cameras: Apogee U16M
Mounts: Software Bisque Paramount ME
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Planewave Instruments CDK 17
Guiding cameras: SBIG STi
Software: Nebulosity, MaximDL 5
Filters: AstroDon Tru-Balance E-Series Blue, AstroDon Tru-Balance E-Series Luminance, AstroDon Tru-Balance E-Series Red, AstroDon Tru-Balance E-Series Green
Accessories: Astrodon Monster MOAG
Dates: Sept. 11, 2013
Frames: 22×900″
Integration: 5.5 hours

Autor: Craig Prost

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI

18 February 2014

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