The spiral galaxy in Triangulum, M33 (NGC 598)
Date created: 2007-08-18
This beautiful spiral galaxy was first noted by Charles Messier in 1764, and under ideal conditions it is visible to the unaided eye in the northern sky. It is seen from a distance of 3 million light years and is thus one of the most distant naked eye objects. It is also one of the most massive members of the Local Group, a loose scattering of 30 or so mostly faint galaxies that includes the Milky Way. Photographed with a modest telescope, M33 is close enough for the brightest stars to be seen as individuals, mostly in young star clusters visible in this photograph, which was taken in blue light, using the Kitt Peak 4 m telescope in the USA.
Credit: David Malin
© AURA/Jeremy Mould