Photo Friday: Pinwheel Galaxy* (M33)!

* Usually Known as the Triangulum Galaxy

Hey, Sky Fans! Happy Friday! It’s been really hectic week (just when you think there’s only so many soccer practices…) but here we are at the first weekend of summer, here in north.

A couple of weeks ago, we took a look at the Pinwheel Galaxy (Messier 101). Sometimes in astronomy, more than one thing gets the same name. This time around, here’s a different Pinwheel Galaxy, Messier 33. This galaxy is usually better known as the Triangulum Galaxy, but I’ve seen Pinwheel used sometimes, too.

Photo Friday: The Triangulum Galaxy (M33), by Kent Wood

M33 is a spiral galaxy about 2.5 to 3 million light years (LY) away, off in the constellation Triangulum. If that distance sounds a little familiar, it’s because it’s a little bit farther than the distance to the Great Andromeda Galaxy, M31. In fact, it’s thought that this galaxy might be gravitationally bound to M31. This is really close as these things go.

If you remember back to M101, I mentioned that it was 20 million LY away and said it’s considered close. This is much closer than that. I’ve read that it’s visible with the naked eye, but I’ve never seen it.

It’s the smallest of the spiral galaxies in the Local Group, about 60,000 LY across. Our Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 LY.

It’s a beautiful and inspiring photo of another incredible place, isn’t it?

Have a great weekend, everyone. Thanks for stopping by, and clear skies!


11 thoughts on “Photo Friday: Pinwheel Galaxy* (M33)!

  1. Hey,
    Nice post. Btw, as you know I am too a space fan, but I hardly know much about directions and positions of different galaxies and constellations on the sky throughout the year. Plus these small extra informations like about these random galaxies and astronony events. Would you know of any good astronomy book(s) to help me out? Hehe XD.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. For me, I have to drive a bit to get a sky dark enough for Andromeda. Then I have to give my eyes some time to really acclimate to the dark. Like fifteen or twenty minutes, I’m guessing. After all that, with the help of a telescope, I can just barely see the fuzzy center of Andromeda (the spiral arms are still invisible to me). That’s the best I’ve been able to do.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh… I can’t see it with the naked eye around where I am. I saw it once, last summer in the dark mountains of New Hampshire, but never around here. I know where to look and can find it at the right time of year with the binoculars, but even wrapped in all of those layers of “but” and “if,” it’s still the only other galaxy I’ve ever seen.

        Liked by 1 person

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