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 red clouds of ionized hydrogen gas with newborn stars within, regions similar to our own galaxy's Orion, Lagoon, and Eagle Nebulas, among 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:Takahashi FSQ-106 EDX4, RCOS 20" Ritchey-Chretien
Camera:QHY600M, STL-11000XM
Mount:Paramount MX+, Paramount ME
Filters:Chroma RGB, 3nm Hα, SBIG Standard LRGB
Dates/Times:6 December 2020 - 8 January 2021, 20 October - 21 November 2006
Location:RC-Astro North Observatory at New Mexico Skies
Exposure Details:RGB = 33.5 hours, Hα = 6 hours
Acquisition:MaxIm DL 6, ACP Expert
Processing:PixInsight, Photoshop
Processing:This photograph combines wide-field exposures taken in 2020/2021 with older high-resolution exposures taken in 2006. Hydrogen-alpha exposures were combined with the broadband red exposures to enhance the many nebulas present in M33's spiral arms.