Hubble Telescope captures most detailed image ever of nearby galaxy

The most detailed image yet of a 40-billion star neighbouring galaxy has been captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Hubble takes images in incredibly high resolution, of course, but it's not the only telescope that can observe this galaxy.

A new image was made up of 54 photos taken with the "Hubble".

The full image contains nearly 25 million stars, and will help scientists study not just the Triangulum Galaxy, but Andromeda and our own.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took the sharpest image so far of the Triangle galaxy, where almost 25 million stars can be seen.

"My first impression on seeing the Hubble images was, wow, that really is a lot of star formation", astronomer Julianne Dalcanton of the University of Washington in Seattle, who led the project.

The Triangulum Galaxy is a spiral galaxy located about three million light-years away from the Milky Way.

Triangulum is the third-largest galaxy in what's known as the Local Group of galaxies, which includes bigger neighbors Andromeda and our own Milky Way. Some 1500 light-years across, this is one of the largest, brightest concentrations of ionized hydrogen (H II) in our Local Group of galaxies, and it is a major center of star formation. He subsequently documented when in their history these Local Group dwarf galaxies stopped making stars, or "quenched", and how this was affected by the proximity of the larger galaxies, including the Milky Way. Its diameter is only 60 thousand light years in comparison with 200 thousand the galaxy Andromeda or 100 thousand the milky Way. Wide-field view of the Triangulum Galaxy showing the extent of the survey is shown above.

Triangulum Galaxy is also characterised by a huge amount of dust and gas and dust, which enables it to form stars at a rapid rate - about one solar mass in every two years.

These detailed observations of the Triangulum Galaxy have tremendous legacy value - combined with those of the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy and the irregular Magellanic Cloud galaxies, they will help astronomers to better understand star formation and stellar evolution.

Astronomers think that Triangulum has avoided disruptive interactions with other galaxies, instead spending the eons tending its well-ordered spiral and turning out new generations of stars.

  • Joey Payne