The Pinwheel Galaxy (M33)

Posted by kostas_75
on Sunday, September 9, 2012

About this image

In long-exposure photographs M33, another member of our Local Group of galaxies, looks like an enormous spiral with innumerable suns clinging to wildly spinning arms. But with a diameter of 50,000 light years, you could easily fit three M33s in the disk of M31. In fact, M33 may be a satellite galaxy of M31, orbiting it just as the moon does the earth. The Andromeda Galaxy is also about 15 times more massive than M33, which is about two times smaller and seven times less massive than our Milky Way. As seen from an imaginary planet in the Pinwheel Galaxy, M31 would be an impressive sight - an oblique swarm of faintly glittering suns stretching 6° in that hypothetical sky. Regardless of its true size, the Pinwheel is a great sight from earth. It has long been a naked-eye challenge for amateur astronomers. While some find it easily visible to the naked eye or in binoculars, others cannot see it at all. The problem lies in the galaxy's low surface brightness.

Technical Details

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L lens @ f/2.8
Skywatcher HEQ5 Synscan pro
Guiding Vixen ED81S, DMK21AU04, PHD guiding
Canon EOS 450D (piggy back)
Constellation Triangulum
22 Jul, 2012
Parnonas Mountain, Greece
1x5 min ISO 800 (light frames), 3x5 min ISO 800 (dark frame)
Programs used
PHD guiding, ImagesPlus, Nebulosity, Adobe Photoshop
To leave a comment you must be a member of our community.
Login to your account now, or register for an account to start participating.
No one has commented yet.
Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.


Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter. View our Privacy Policy.

Find us on Facebook