The small, northern constellation Triangulum harbors this magnificent face-on spiral galaxy, M33. Its popular names include the Pinwheel Galaxy or just the Triangulum Galaxy. M33 is over 50,000 light-years in diameter, third largest in the Local Group of galaxies after the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), and our own Milky Way. About 3 million light-years from the Milky Way, M33 is itself thought to be a satellite of the Andromeda Galaxy and astronomers in these two galaxies would likely have spectacular views of each other's grand spiral star systems. As for the view from planet Earth, this image nicely shows off M33's blue star clusters and pinkish star forming regions that trace the galaxy's loosely wound spiral arms. In fact, the cavernous NGC 604 is the brightest star forming region, seen here at about the 7 o'clock position from the galaxy center. Like M31, M33's population of well-measured variable stars have helped make this nearby spiral a cosmic yardstick for establishing the distance scale of the Universe (text adapted from APOD).
TEC 140APO & AP Mach1 - FLI Proline 16803 - Ha (260m) OIII (60m) L (130m) R (25m) G (25m) B (25m) - Gambugliano, Vicenza, Italy
Large galaxies and faint nebulae highlight this deep image of the M81 Group of galaxies. First and foremost in the wide-angle exposure is the grand design spiral galaxy M81, the largest galaxy visible in the image. M81 is gravitationally interacting with M82 just above it, a big galaxy with an unusual halo of filamentary red-glowing gas. Around the image many other galaxies from the M81 Group of galaxies can be seen. Together with other galaxy congregates including our Local Group of galaxies and the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, the M81 Group is part of the expansive Virgo Supercluster of Galaxies. This whole galaxy menagerie is seen through the faint glow of an Integrated Flux Nebula, a little studied complex of diffuse gas and dust clouds in our Milky Way Galaxy (Text adapted from APOD).
Pentax 67 EDIF 300mm f/4 - FLI Proline 16803 - L (120m) R (20m) G (20m) B (20m) - Gambugliano, Vicenza, Italy