Pictures of the Triangulum Galaxy
Images of and facts about the iconic Triangulum Galaxy, M33.
The iconic Triangulum Galaxy, M33, is located 3 million lightyears from Earth in the Triangulum constellation, and is a fellow member of our Local Group of galaxies.
Measuring just 60,000 lightyears across - compared to the 200,000 lightyear and 100,000 lightyear diameters of the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way, respectively - the Triangulum Galaxy is the Local Group’s third largest galaxy.
The galaxy’s distinct spiral structure suggests it has existed largely unperturbed by gravitational interactions with other galaxies, but astronomers believe that its proximity to our home galaxy means it could well be on a collision course, and may end up becoming a third party in the predicted Andromeda-Milky Way collision over 4 billion years from now.
For now, it is a stunning galactic specimen and one of the most famous galaxies in the Messier Catalogue.
It is also on our list of the best galaxies to observe in the night sky.
The Triangulum Galaxy's bright blue arms indicate the presence of scorching hot new young stars and that this is a galaxy undergoing rapid star formation: potentially a mass equivalent to that of our Sun being produced every two years.
Below are images of the Triangulum Galaxy captured by BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers and astrophotographers from around the world.