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Astr111 Photography Projects, Fall 2004

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M 33 - The Triangulum Galaxy, Emily Vollink

M 33

M 33 is a large system of stars and interstellar matter, also known as a galaxy. Along with stars, galaxies also contain star clusters and nebulae. The Triangulum Galaxy (M 33) is a spiral galaxy which is normally compared to Andromeda and our own Milky Way Galaxy. Spiral galaxies often give off a reddish color whereas newer spiral galaxies often have more of a blue tone. Spiral galaxies can also be recognized for their mysterious spiral shape of stars and star clusters. These structures are formed by the gravity of neighboring galaxies.

In researching the Triangulum Galaxy, I found that it is small compared to Andromeda and our own galaxy. M 33 was one of the first discovered of the spiral galaxies by William Parsons. The arm in the northeast was given its own name by William Herschel because of its immense size and brightness. Much research has been done on M 33, it can be seen with the naked eye under rare conditions. M 33 is one of the most distant things that people can see. Due to low surface brightness it is often easier to see with the naked eye or with binoculars than it is with a telescope.