Russell Croman Astrophotography  



The Triangulum Galaxy

About This Photograph

This celestial beauty is named after the constellation in which it resides, Triangulum. It is also known as "M33," and "The Pinwheel Galaxy." It is about 3 million light years away, which for a galaxy is nearby... a cosmic next-door neighbor, in fact. From a very dark location, M33 is actually visible to the naked eye, quite a thrill when one realizes exactly what one is looking at: a distant island universe not unlike our own Milky Way galaxy.

The loose spiral arms are traced out by myriad young, hot, and therefore blue stars. Also strewn along these arms are magenta clouds of hydrogen gas with newborn stars within, regions similar to our own galaxy's Orion Nebula, Lagoon Nebula, Eagle Nebula, and others. Closer into the core are brownish clouds of gas and dust. Some of these may eventually collapse and begin forming their own stellar hatchlings.


Technical Details

Optics:20" f/8 RCOS Ritchey-Chrétien Cassegrain
Camera:SBIG STL-11000M
Mount:Software Bisque Paramount ME
Filters:SBIG Standard LRGB
Dates/Times:20 Oct - 21 Nov 2006
Location:Dimension Point Observatory, Mayhill, New Mexico
Exposure Details:LRGB = 360:180:90:180 minutes (each frame; two frame mosaic)
Acquisition:MaxIm DL/CCD 4, TheSky6, CCDAutoPilot3
Processing:CCDStack, MaxIm DL/CCD 4, Photoshop CS2, GradientXTerminator