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Astrophoto: Can You Count the 292 Pink Nebulae in the Triangulum Galaxy?

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Posted August 29, 2013

Take a look at this stunning new close-up of M33, the Triangulum Galaxy by one of our favorite astrophotographers, John Chumack. “The thing that amazes me about M33 other than it being our neighbor and a beautiful spiral galaxy, is that M33 is loaded with 292 pink nebulae (HII Star Formation Regions),” John said, “the largest pink nebula being NGC-604, which is actually visible in a 6″ diameter telescope…to be able to see nebula visually in other galaxies — now that is really cool!”

M33, the Triangulum Spiral Galaxy, seen here in a 4.3 hour exposure image. Credit and copyright: John Chumack.

M33, the Triangulum Spiral Galaxy, seen here in a 4.3 hour exposure image. Credit and copyright: John Chumack.

Your challenge for the day: how many nebulae can you count in this beautiful new image? There are also star clusters and even a few globular clusters in the image, as well.

M33 is about 2.6 million light years away and is the second closest spiral galaxy to us, next to the Andromeda galaxy. “Due to its very low surface brightness it can be a challenge to see from or nearby cities,” John explained, “but from a dark location on a perfectly clear night and assuming you have 20/20 vision, it is the furthest object the Human eye could see into deep space without optical aid.”

John used a QHY8 CCD + 16″ reflector in this 4.3 hour exposure. Pretty in pink!

John Chumack's daughter Kayla took this picture of her Dad holding a 16x24 print of M33. Image courtesy of John Chumack.

John Chumack’s daughter Kayla took this picture of her Dad holding a 16×24 print of M33. Image courtesy of John Chumack.

John said he always runs his images by his wife and children to get their final okay, if it looks good to them, then he knows it’s a keeper! His daughter Kayla liked this one enough to want to take a picture of her Dad holding a print of it.

See more of John’s work at his website, Galactic Images, or on his Flickr page.

Source: Universe Today, story by Nancy Atkinson

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