The name of the Triangulum Galaxy is due to the fact that it is located in a triangle-shaped constellation.
|Also known as:||Messier 33, M33 or NGC 598|
|Diameter:||60,000 light years|
|Distance:||3 Million light years|
|Mass:||50 billion M☉|
|Number of Stars:||40 billion|
It is part of the same Local Group as our own Milky Way Galaxy and is the third largest in our group.
The Triangulum Galaxy, like the Andromeda and Milky Way Galaxies is a spiral galaxy. When you see pictures of this galaxy it looks like its “arms” are loosely wrapped around its core.
The Triangulum Galaxy was discovered in 1764 by astronomer Charles Messier.
However, there was a continued dispute due to an Italian astronomer that first noted the galaxy in 1654. The scientific designation for the Triangulum Galaxy is M33.
Some of the spiral galaxies, including the Milky Way, have a very distinctive core with a bar shape.
Triangulum Galaxy doesn’t have this bar and is called an un-barred spiral galaxy. A distinctive feature of the Triangulum Galaxy is that it has areas that are forming bright stars.
One of these bright star clusters is called NGC 604 and is considered to be a stellar “nursery.”
NGC 604 is the largest of these nurseries when compared to the Andromeda and Milky Way Galaxies, as well as a popular area to photograph because it is only 3 million light-years away.
In 2007-2008 NASA’s Swift satellite took a lot of pictures focused on the Triangulum Galaxy.
At that time the satellite created the “most detailed ultraviolet image of an entire galaxy every taken.”
They included incredibly bright blues and purple colors that highlighted the formation of the stars within the Triangulum Galaxy.
Another famous photo was taken by Chris Schur, an Arizona photographer, when he took a stunning picture of the Triangulum Galaxy in 2016.
The Triangulum Galaxy is sometimes called the Pinwheel Galaxy in error. The Pinwheel Galaxy is designated as Messier 101 and is an entirely different galaxy.
The shape of the Triangulum Galaxy may be due to a past interaction with the larger Andromeda Galaxy that is nearby.
Researchers believe there has been interaction because there are quite a few streams of stars and neutral hydrogen that are linking both galaxies.
Some scientists refer to the Triangulum Galaxy as an “inside-out” galaxy formation.
This is due to the theory that the gas at the galaxy’s inner core became exhausted and instead began to gather at the galaxy’s outer edges.
The result of this occurrence is a difference in compositions of the outer halo and inner core.