William Anthony Photography

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M33 The Triangulum Galaxy

M33 The Triangulum Galaxy

M33 also known as the Triangulum Galaxy, is a large galaxy located in the constellation Triangulum. From a pristine dark sky, M33 appears as a soft faint glow. This is the combined light of 40 billion stars located along M33's 50,000 light year diameter. For comparison sake M33 is much smaller than our own galaxy which contains 400 billion stars and is 100,000 light years in diameter. M33 is the third largest member of the Local Group. The Local Group being the cluster of galaxies in the Universe consisting of the Milky Way, Andromeda Galaxy (M31), and M33, along with 51 smaller members. The final image highlights the spiral nature of M33 along with some of its active HII regions. The most notable HII region is the bright red spot located at the 7 o'clock position from the core of M33. HII regions are areas where stars are born similar to the Orion Nebula in our own Milky Way Galaxy. HII refers to the ionized hydrogen found in these areas. The image of M33 was shot from the pristine dark skies of Cherry Springs Park located near Coudersport PA. Cherry Springs is often referred to as the darkest site in the North East. The park itself is a mecca for amateur astronomers and astrophotographers. My decision to image M33 from Cherry Springs was simple. I have two broad band light pollution filters that block out light pollution when shooting from New Jersey. These filters block out light pollution while allowing the light from emission and reflection nebula to pass thru to the camera's sensor. The filters take advantage of the fact that nebula tend to emit light in only a narrow portion of the spectrum. Galaxies on the other hand, emit light in a broad portion of the spectrum. Therefore light pollution filters will block out some of light from galaxies. Imaging a galaxy from Cherry Springs gets around this problem. There is no light pollution to block, hence a light pollution filter is not required. The final image of M33 consist of 3.4 hours worth of data shot with a modified digital camera. 6X600 sec, 29X300sec, @ ISO 800

Glen Gardner, NJ 08826