Triangulum Galaxy Dazzles in Stargazer's Photo

by Nina Sen, SPACE.com Contributor
Jeffrey O. Johnson combined images taken on Sept. 23, 2013 (Ha) and Nov. 6, 2012 (LRGB) from his backyard in Las Cruces, New Mexico to create this image of the galaxy M33.

The Triangulum Galaxy, also known as M33, is seen teeming with stars in this stunning image created by a veteran amateur astronomer.

Jeff Johnson combined images of the galaxy taken on Sept. 23, 2013 (Ha) and Nov. 6, 2012 (LRGB) from his backyard in Las Cruces, NM, to create this amazing view.

Also known as the Triangulum Galaxy or the Pinwheel Galaxy, M33 is the third largest member the Local Group of galaxies, which includes the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy as well as 30 other smaller galaxies. It is located roughly three million light years away from Earth.  A light-year is the distance light travels in one year, about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers). [65 Amazing Galaxy Photos]

"Here is M33, and in this, the Ha regions are clearly visible (Ha is in the red part of the visible spectrum so represented as red/pink areas), so we can see from here hydrogen emissions from 3 million light years away," Johnson wrote of the image on his blog.

Johnson used a Takahashi TOA-130F at f/7.7 telescope, Takahashi EM200 Temma II mount, QSI 540wsg @ -10C camera, Astrodon Tru-Balance I-Series LRGB Gen 2 filters and SX Lodestar guider.

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by SPACE.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

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