RASC - St. John's Centre
Members Photos

Image of "M33"
Photographed by Chris Stevenson September 6, 2010

A photo of  the "Triangulum Galaxy", in Triangulum, photographed from St. John's  on September 6, 2010 by Chris Stevenson.

M33 (NGC 598), the third-largest spiral galaxy in the Local Group behind M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy) and our own Milky Way, is regarded as truly the most distant object one can generally see without a telescope, at a distance of about 3 million lightyears. Having a high rate of star formation, the galaxy is loaded with bright pink "HII regions" (stellar nurseries); in this image, NGC 604 (top left) and NGC 595 (2 o'clock wrt nucleus) are obvious. Very dark and transparent, moon-free skies are required to glimpse this with the unaided eye. Since the galaxy covers the area of four Full Moons and is nearly face-on, it has a very low surface brightness and even slight light pollution will wash it out. Photography from within a city is challenging.

Image is the sum of the best 28 of 50 unguided 30-second exposures taken with a modified Canon 350D digital SLR at the f/10 focus of a Celestron CPC 1100 11" Schmidt Cassegrain telescope (SCT), from the photographer's SkyShed POD in East-End St. John's. Sky conditions: transparency 3/5, Milky Way just barely evident hear zenith, washed-out elsewhere. Images were dark-subtracted and co-added in Registax 4, and levels adjusted in The Gimp. (Doing this out of town would yield a far better image)" .

Click image for full original photo.




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