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Triangulum Galaxy
M33HunterWilson09.jpg
Triangulum Galaxy - Messier 33
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Pronunciation /traɪˈæŋɡjʊləm/
Constellation Triangulum
Right ascension 01h 33m 50.02s[1]
Declination +30° 39′ 36.7″[1]
Redshift -0.000607 ± 0.000010[1]
Helio Radial velocity -179 ± 3 km/s[2]
Galactocentric Velocity -44 ± 6 km/s[2]
Distance 2,380 to 3,070 kly (730 to 940 kpc)[3][4]
Type SA(s)cd[2]
Apparent dimensions (V) 70.8 × 41.7 moa[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 5.72[1]
Other designations
NGC 0598, MCG +05-04-069, 1ES 0131+303, RX J0133.8+3039, PGC 005818[2]
See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies

The Triangulum Galaxy is a spiral galaxy at approximately 3 million light years (ly) distance in the constellation Triangulum. It is catalogued as Messier 33 or NGC 598, and is sometimes informally referred to as the Pinwheel Galaxy, a moniker it shares with Messier 101. The Triangulum Galaxy is a member of the Local Group of galaxies, which includes the Milky Way Galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy and about 30 other smaller galaxies.

Contents

Visibility and nomenclature

If the level of light pollution is sufficiently low, the Triangulum Galaxy can be seen with the naked eye.[5] Being a diffuse object, its visibility is strongly affected by small amounts of light pollution, ranging from easily visible by direct vision in dark skies to a difficult averted vision object in rural or suburban skies.[5] For this reason, Triangulum is one of the critical sky marks of the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale.[6][7] No known pre-telescopic observer notes the Triangulum Galaxy, which is not surprising: given its indistinctness, it is not likely to be noticed as an object unless one already knows of its existence.[citation needed]

The galaxy is sometimes informally referred to as the Pinwheel Galaxy by some amateur astronomy references[8] and in some public outreach websites.[9] However, the SIMBAD Astronomical Database, a professional astronomy database that contains formal designations for astronomical objects, indicates that the name "Pinwheel Galaxy" is used to refer to Messier 101,[10] and several other amateur astronomy resources and other public outreach websites also identify Messier 101 by that name.[11][12]

Observation history

The Triangulum Galaxy was probably discovered by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Battista Hodierna before 1654. In his work De systemate orbis cometici; deque admirandis coeli caracteribus (About the systematics of the cometary orbit, and about the admirable objects of the sky) he listed it as a cloud-like nebulosity or obsuration and gave the cryptic description, "near the Triangle hinc inde". This is in reference to the constellation of Triangulum as a pair of triangles. The magnitude of the object matches M33, so it is most likely a reference to the Triangulum galaxy.[13]

The galaxy was independently discovered by Charles Messier on the night of August 25–26, 1764. It was published in his Catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters (1771) as object number 33; hence the name M33. When William Herschel compiled his extensive catalogue of nebulae, he was careful not to include most of the objects identified by Messier.[14] However, M33 was an exception and he catalogued this object on September 11, 1784 as H V-17.[15]

NGC 604 in the Triangulum Galaxy

Herschel also cataloged The Triangulum Galaxy's brightest and largest H II region (diffuse emission nebula containing ionized hydrogen) as H III.150 separately from the galaxy itself, which eventually obtained NGC number 604. As seen from Earth NGC 604 is located northeast of the galaxy's central core, and is one of the largest H II regions known with a diameter of nearly 1500 light-years and a spectrum similar to the Orion Nebula. Herschel also noted 3 other smaller H II regions (NGC 588, 592 and 595).

It was among the first "spiral nebulae" identified as such by Lord Rosse.

Properties

With a diameter of about 50,000 light years, the Triangulum galaxy is the third largest member of the Local Group, a group of galaxies which also contains the Milky Way Galaxy and the Andromeda Galaxy, and it may be a gravitationally bound companion of the Andromeda Galaxy. Triangulum may be home to between 30 and 40 billion stars,[16] compared to 200-400 billion for the Milky Way, and 1 trillion stars for Andromeda.[citation needed] The Pisces Dwarf (LGS 3), one of the small Local Group member galaxies, is possibly a satellite of Triangulum.[citation needed]

The disk of Triangulum has an estimated mass of (3-6) × 109 solar masses, while the gas component is about 3.2 × 109 solar masses. Thus the combined mass of all baryonic matter in the galaxy may be 1010 solar masses. The contribution of the dark matter component out to a radius of 55 kly (17 kpc) is equivalent to about 5 × 1010 solar masses.[17]

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Location

Triangulum (M33) and Andromeda (M31)

Estimates of the distance to the Triangulum galaxy range from 2,380 to 3,070 kly (730 to 940 kpc), with most estimates since the year 2000 lying in the middle portion of this range.[3][4] At least three techniques have been used to measure distances to M 33. Using the Cepheid variable method, an estimate of 2,770 ± 130 kly (850 ± 40 kpc) was achieved in 2004.[18][19] In the same year, the Tip of the Red Giant Branch (TRGB) method was used to derive a distance estimate of 2,590 ± 80 kilolight-years (790 ± 25 kpc).[20]

In 2006, a group of astronomers announced the discovery of an eclipsing binary star in the Triangulum Galaxy. By studying the eclipses of the stars, astronomers were able to measure their sizes. Knowing the sizes and temperatures of the stars they were able to measure the absolute magnitude of the stars. When the visual and absolute magnitudes are known, the distance to the star can be measured. The stars lie at the distance of 3,070 ± 240 kly (940 ± 74 kpc).[3]

The Triangulum galaxy is a source of H2 maser emission.[21] In 2005, using observations of two water masers on opposite sides of Triangulum via the VLBA, researchers were, for the first time, able to estimate the angular rotation and proper motion of Triangulum. A velocity of 190 ± 60 km/s relative to the Milky Way was computed, which means Triangulum is moving towards Andromeda.[22]

Structure

In the French astronomer Gérard de Vaucouleurs' revised Hubble Sandage (VRHS) system of galaxy morphological classification, the Triangulum galaxy is classified as type SA(s)cd. The S prefix indicates that it is a disk-shaped galaxy with prominent arms of gas and dust that spiral out from the nucleus—what is commonly known as a spiral galaxy. The A is assigned when the galactic nucleus lacks a bar-shaped structure, in contrast to SB class barred spiral galaxies. American astronomer Allan Sandage's "(s)" notation is used when the spiral arms emerge directly from the nucleus or central bar, rather than from an inner ring as with an (r)-type galaxy. Finally, the cd suffix represents a stage along the spiral sequence that describes the openness of the arms. A rating of cd indicates relatively loosely wound arms.[23]

This galaxy has a inclination of 54° to the line of sight from the Earth, allowing the structure to be examined without significant obstruction by gas and dust.[24][25] The disk of the Triangulum galaxy appears warped out to a radius of about 8 kpc. There may be a halo surrounding the galaxy, but there is no bulge at the nucleus.[26] This is an isolated galaxy and there are no indications of recent mergers or interactions with other galaxies,[25] and it lacks the dwarf spheroidals or tidal tails associated with the Milky Way.[27]

Triangulum is classified as unbarred, but an analysis the galaxy shape shows what may be a weak bar-like structure about the galactic nucleus. The radial extent of this structure is about 0.8 kpc.[28] The nucleus of this galaxy is an H II region,[21] and it contains an ultra-luminous X-ray source with an emission of 1.2 × 1039 erg s-1, which is the most luminous source of X-rays in the Local Group of galaxies. This source is modulated by 20% over a 106 day cycle.[29] However, the nucleus does not appear to contain a supermassive black hole, as an upper limit of 3,000 solar masses is placed on the mass of a central black hole based upon the velocity of stars in the core region.[30]

Star formation

The inner part of the galaxy has two luminous spiral arms, along with multiple spurs that connect the inner to the outer spiral features. In the central 4′ region, atomic gas is being efficiently converted to molecular gas, resulting in a strong spectral emission of CO. This effect occurs as giant molecular clouds condense out of the surrounding interstellar medium. A similar process is taking place outside the central 4′, but at a less efficient pace. About 10% of the gas content in this galaxy is in the molecular form.[24][25]

Star formation is taking place at a rate that is strongly correlated with the local gas density, and the rate per unit area is higher than in the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy. (The rate of star formation is about 3.4 Gyr−1 pc−2 in the Triangulum galaxy, compared to 0.74 in Andromeda.[31]) The total integrated rate of star formation in the Triangulum galaxy is about 0.45 ± 0.1 solar masses per year. It is uncertain whether this net rate is currently decreasing or remaining constant.[24][25]

Based on analysis of the chemical composition of this galaxy, it appears to be divided into two distinct components with differing histories. The inner disk within a radius of 30 kly (9 kpc) has a typical composition gradient that decreases linearly from the core. Beyond this radius, out to about 82 kly (25 kpc), the gradient is much flatter. This suggests a different star formation history between the inner disk and the outer disk and halo, and may be explained by a scenario of "inside-out" galaxy formation.[26] This occurs when gas is accumulated at large radii later in a galaxy's life space, while the gas at the core becomes exhausted. The result is a decrease in the average age of stars with increasing radius from the galaxy core.[32]

Discrete features

Using infrared observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope, a total of 515 discrete candidate sources of 24μm emission within the Triangulum galaxy have been catalogued as of 2007. The brightest sources lie within the central region of the galaxy and along the spiral arms. Many of these sources are associated with HII regions of star formation.[33] The nebula NGC 604 is the second most luminous HII region within the Local Group of galaxies, at (4.5 ± 1.5) × 107 times the luminosity of the Sun.[31]

About 54 globular clusters have been identified in this galaxy, but the actual number may be 122 or more.[27] The confirmed clusters may be several billion years younger than globular clusters in the Milky Way, and cluster formation appears to have increased during the past 100 million years. This increase is correlated with an inflow of gas into the center of the galaxy. The ultraviolet emission of massive stars in this galaxy matches the level of similar stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud.[34]

In 2007, a black hole about 15.7 times the mass of the Sun was detected in this galaxy using data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The black hole, named M33 X-7, orbits a companion star which it eclipses every 3.5 days. It is the largest stellar mass black hole known.[35][36]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "M 33 -- Galaxy". SIMBAD. Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg. http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=M33. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Results for NGC 598". NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database. NASA/IPAC/JPL. http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/. Retrieved 2006-12-01. 
  3. ^ a b c Bonanos, A. Z. coauthors=et al. (2006). "The First DIRECT Distance to a Detached Eclipsing Binary in M33". Astrophysics and Space Science Online First: 207. doi:10.1007/s10509-006-9112-1. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?doi=10.1007%2Fs10509-006-9112-1. 
  4. ^ a b Magrini, Laura; Stanghellini, Letizia; Villaver, Eva (May 2009). "The Planetary Nebula Population of M33 and its Metallicity Gradient: A Look Into the Galaxy's Distant Past". The Astrophysical Journal 696 (1): 729-740. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/696/1/729. Bibcode2009ApJ...696..729M. 
  5. ^ a b Bortle, John E. (February 2001). "The Bortle Dark-Sky Scale". http://www.skyandtelescope.com/resources/darksky/3304011.html. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  6. ^ Skiff, Brian (January 10, 1997). "Messier 81 naked-eye". sci.astro.amateur. http://www.maa.clell.de/Messier/E/Xtra/Supp/m81naked.txt. Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  7. ^ Wilson, Barbara; Mitchell, Larry. "The Revised AINTNO 100". Astronomy-Mall. http://astronomy-mall.com/Adventures.In.Deep.Space/aintno.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  8. ^ O'Meara, S. J. (1998). The Messier Objects. Cambridge: Cambridge University. ISBN 0-521-55332-6. 
  9. ^ "NASA Spitzer Telescope Reveals Pinwheel Galaxy's Hidden Wonders". http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=14321. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  10. ^ "SIMBAD Astronomical Database". Results for Messier 101. http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  11. ^ "Messier Object 101". http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m101.html. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  12. ^ "Best of AOP: M101: Pinwheel Galaxy". http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  13. ^ Fodera-Serio, G.; Indorato, L.; Nastasi, P. (February 1985). "Hodierna's Observations of Nebulae and his Cosmology". Journal of the History of Astronomy 16 (1): 1–36. Bibcode1985JHA....16....1F. 
  14. ^ Jones, Kenneth Glyn (1991). Messier's nebulae and star clusters (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 366. ISBN 0521370795. 
  15. ^ Mullaney, James (2007). The Herschel objects and how to observe them. Springer. pp. 16–17. ISBN 0387681248. 
  16. ^ Michon, Gerard P.. "Sizing up the Universe - Stars, Sand and Nucleons". http://home.att.net/~numericana/answer/sagan.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  17. ^ Corbelli, Edvige (June 2003). "Dark matter and visible baryons in M33". Monthly Notice of the Royal Astronomical Society 342 (1): 199-207. doi:10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.06531.x. Bibcode2003MNRAS.342..199C. 
  18. ^ Karachentsev, I. D.; Karachentseva, V. E.; Hutchmeier, W. K.; Makarov, D. I. (2004). "A Catalog of Neighboring Galaxies". Astronomical Journal 127: 2031–2068. doi:10.1086/382905. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004AJ....127.2031K. 
  19. ^ Karachentsev, I. D.; Kashibadze, O. G. (2006). "Masses of the local group and of the M81 group estimated from distortions in the local velocity field". Astrophysics 49 (1): 3–18. doi:10.1007/s10511-006-0002-6. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=2006Ap.....49....3K. 
  20. ^ McConnachie, A. W.; Irwin, M. J.; Ferguson, A. M. N.; Ibata, R. A.; Lewis, G. F.; Tanvir, N. (May 2004). "Determining the location of the tip of the red giant branch in old stellar populations: M33, Andromeda I and II". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 350 (1): 250. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2004.07637.x. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004MNRAS.350..243M. 
  21. ^ a b Zhang, J. S.; Henkel, C.; Guo, Q.; Wang, H. G.; Fan, J. H. (2010). "On the Nuclear Obscuration of H2O Maser Galaxy". Astrophysical Journal 708: 1528–1536. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/708/2/1528. 
  22. ^ Brunthaler, Andreas; Reid, Mark J.; Falcke, Heino; Greenhill, Lincoln J.; Henkel, Christian (2005). "The Geometric Distance and Proper Motion of the Triangulum Galaxy (M33)". Science 307 (5714): 1440–1443. doi:10.1126/science.1108342. PMID 15746420. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=2005Sci...307.1440B. 
  23. ^ Buta, Ronald James; Corwin, Harold G.; Odewahn, Stephen C. (2007). The de Vaucouleurs atlas of galaxies. Cambridge University Press. p. 1–16, 88. ISBN 0521820480. 
  24. ^ a b c Heyer, Mark H.; Corbelli, Edvige; Schneider, Stephen E.; Young, Judith S. (February 2004). "The Molecular Gas Distribution and Schmidt Law in M33". The Astrophysical Journal 602 (2): 723–729. doi:10.1086/381196. Bibcode2004ApJ...602..723H. 
  25. ^ a b c d Verley, S.; Corbelli, E.; Giovanardi, C.; Hunt, L. K. (January 2009). "Star formation in M 33: multiwavelength signatures across the disk". Astronomy and Astrophysics 493 (2): 453–466. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:200810566. Bibcode2009A&A...493..453V. 
  26. ^ a b Cioni, Maria-Rosa L. (November 2009). "The metallicity gradient as a tracer of history and structure: the Magellanic Clouds and M33 galaxies". Astronomy and Astrophysics 506 (3): 1137–1146. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200912138. Bibcode2009A&A...506.1137C. 
  27. ^ a b Zloczewski, K.; Kaluzny, J.; Hartman, J. (March 2008). "Photometric Survey for Stellar Clusters in the Outer Part of M33". Acta Astronomica 58: 23–39. Bibcode2008AcA....58...23Z. 
  28. ^ Hernández-López, I.; Athanassoula, E.; Mújica, R.; Bosma, A. (November 2009). "M33: The existence of a bar". A Long Walk Through Astronomy: A Celebration of Luis Carrasco's 60th Birthday, Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica (Serie de Conferencias). 37. pp. 160–162. Bibcode2009RMxAC..37..160H. 
  29. ^ Dubus, G.; Charles, P. A.; Long, K. S. (October 2004). "High resolution Chandra X-ray imaging of the nucleus of M 33". Astronomy and Astrophysics 425: 95-98. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20041253. Bibcode2004A&A...425...95D. 
  30. ^ Merritt, David; Ferrarese, Laura; Joseph, Charles L. (August 10, 2001). "No Supermassive Black Hole in M33?". Science 293 (5532): 1116-1118. doi:10.1126/science.1063896. 
  31. ^ a b Corbelli, E.; Verley, S.; Elmegreen, B. G.; Giovanardi, C. (February 2009). "The cluster birthline in M 33". Astronomy and Astrophysics 495 (2): 479-490. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:200811086. Bibcode2009A&A...495..479C. 
  32. ^ Williams, Benjamin F.; Dalcanton, Julianne J.; Dolphin, Andrew E.; Holtzman, Jon; Sarajedini, Ata (April 2009). "The Detection of Inside-Out Disk Growth in M33". The Astrophysical Journal Letters 695 (1): L15-L19. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/695/1/L15. Bibcode2009ApJ...695L..15W. 
  33. ^ Verley, S.; Hunt, L. K.; Corbelli, E.; Giovanardi, C. (December 2007). "Star formation in M 33: Spitzer photometry of discrete sources". Astronomy and Astrophysics 476 (3): 1161-1178. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20078179. Bibcode2007A&A...476.1161V. 
  34. ^ Grebel, E. K. (November 2-5, 1999). "The Star Formation History of the Local Group". in F. Favata, A. Kaas, and A. Wilson. Proceedings of the 33rd ESLAB symposium on star formation from the small to the large scale. Noordwijk, The Netherlands. Bibcode2000ESASP.445...87G. 
  35. ^ Abubekerov, M. K.; Antokhina, E. A.; Bogomazov, A. I.; Cherepashchuk, A. M. (March 2009). "The mass of the black hole in the X-ray binary M33 X-7 and the evolutionary status of M33 X-7 and IC 10 X-1". Astronomy Reports 53 (3): 232-242. doi:10.1134/S1063772909030056. Bibcode2009ARep...53..232A. 
  36. ^ Morcone, Jennifer (October 17, 2007). "Heaviest Stellar Black Hole Discovered in Nearby Galaxy". Chandra X-ray Observatory press release. http://chandra.harvard.edu/press/07_releases/press_101707.html. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 

External links

Coordinates: Sky map 01h 33m 50.9s, +30° 39′ 36″


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Etymology

From Triangulum, a constellation.

Synonyms

Proper noun

Singular
Triangulum Galaxy

Plural
-

Triangulum Galaxy

  1. (astronomy): A relatively nearby spiral galaxy in the Local Group, together with the Milky Way galaxy. It is at a distance of approximately 2.6 million light years from Earth, in the direction of the constellation Triangulum.

Translations

See also


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