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M33  (NGC 598),  The  Pinwheel  Galaxy,  

in  Triangulum


     M33, a beautiful but low surface brightness face-on spiral galaxy, was discovered by Charles Messier in 1764. It is about the same distance from the Milky Way as M31 (2.5-3.0 Mly) and only about 500,000 ly from M31. It is the third largest member of the Local Group, after M31 and the Milky Way. Because of its low surface brightness, long exposures are needed to visualize the spiral arms.  Significant areas of strong H-alpha light can be seen in long exposures with an H-alpha filter and some hint of these areas  (red blotches) can be seen even in these images. 

LRGB CCD Image September 2004:


  2004-09-12, 14


 Astro-Physics 130 f6 EDF on AP 1200GTO mount, guiding with internal guide chip.

 Camera: SBIG ST-10XME with CFW 8a filter wheel and Astrodon filters. 


 Eighteen 5 minute C, R, G, and B frames. 


 Calibrated and combined in MaxIm 4; final processing in PhotoShop CS.


L(RGB) RGB  CCD  Image: October 2002

Click here for a higher resolution image.

North is to the upper left in this image. A higher resolution copy of this image can be seen here. An older film image can be seen here.




 Astro-Physics 130 f/4.5 EDF, SBIG ST-10XME + CFW-8, on an A-P1200GTO mount,

  guided with the ST-10 internal guide chip 


 6 x 10 min each RGB (180 min total)


 RGB stacked and combined in MaxIm 3.07, weighted R1.4, G1.0, B2.0, stretched in PhotoShop. A luminance layer was synthesized by applying DDP to the individual R, G, and B frames and combining in MaxIm, converting to grayscale, and then sharpening strongly in Photoshop. The luminance and RGB layers were registered in RegiStar and then combined in Photoshop. A red gradient was corrected in Photoshop.

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