The M33 Spiral Galaxy

February 26, 2024


Photographer: Andrea Iorio 
Summary Author: Andrea Iorio   

The constellation Triangulum hosts the spiral galaxy M33, visible face-on from our perspective. This galaxy has a diameter of over 50,000 light years and is the third largest object in the Local Group of galaxies, which also includes Andromeda and our Milky Way.

M33, some 2.5 million light-years away from Earth, reveals in this shot clusters of young blue stars illuminating its swirling arms and pink regions of ionized hydrogen characterized by intense star formation activity. In particular, in the upper right portion of M33 note the nebula NGC 604, an immense star-forming nursery.

I used specific narrowband filters to capture the ionized hydrogen emission in order to highlight these regions otherwise not visible with broadband filters This image was obtained through 14.3 hours of acquisition time on the nights of November 13-18, 2023, from my location near Marino, Italy -- Bortle 6 sky condition (bright suburban might sky). 

Photo Details and set up: ASI 533MC Pro astronomical camera (gain 101, offset 40, -10°C); ZWO OAG and ASI 120 mm for guiding Skywatcher 130 PDS f5 telescope with 1X coma corrector; EQM-35 Pro equatorial mount; Bortle 6 (SQM 19.11).

Marino, Italy Coordinates: 41.7697883, 12.6586082

Related Links:

Triangulum Galaxy

Andrea’s Website