How to Find the Triangulum Galaxy, Messier 33

How to find the Triangulum Galaxy, Messier 33

Triangulum galaxy.jpg


Messier 33, the Triangulum galaxy is an unusual object to see and notorious amongst amateur astronomers. You can spend hours looking at the right area in the sky and not see it, even though it is magnitude 5.7, and some people will tell you it is visible to the naked eye. The problem is this galaxy is a big object and the light is fairly evenly spread across the whole surface. This makes it much harder to see if any light pollution or moonlight exists in the sky. Under perfect sky conditions it is one of the furthest objects that can be seen by the naked eye at 3 million light years away. The best chance to observe this galaxy is to make sure you are zoomed out as far as you can go with your telescope. Use your lowest power eyepiece and try averted vision. This galaxy was discovered by Hodierna before 1654.

Image credit: Hewholooks.

Other Names:

Messier 33, M33

NGC 598

Triangulum Galaxy

Pinwheel Galaxy (informal and confusing name)


Telescope Image to scale:

M33.jpg

This image is 30 arc minutes by 30 arcminutes which is about the size of the full moon.


Brightness:

Magnitude = 5.7

Surface Brightness = 14.2

Telescope Aperture City Suburbs Rural Dark Sky
4 inches 9 10 11 12.5
5 inches 9.5 10.5 11.5 13
6 inches 10 11 12 13.5
8 inches 10.5 11.5 12.5 14
10 inches 11 12 13 14.5


Use this chart to estimate if you can see the object from your location with your telescope. For more help on using this chart click here.


How to See It:

The Triangulum Galaxy is found around the constellation Andromeda. You can find it and more DSO's by following the guide link.

The Triangulum Galaxy can be found using the image below. It's co-ordinates are: RA 01h 34m 39.49 DEC +30° 43′ 42.8″ if you are using guiding software.

How to find the triangulum galaxy, messier 33


In theory this deep space object can be seen with the naked eye. However, the reality is that it can be very difficult to see with even a telescope. You can spend hours looking at the right area in the sky and not see it, even though it is magnitude 5.7, and some people will tell you it is visible to the naked eye. The problem is this galaxy is a big object and the light is fairly evenly spread across the whole surface. This makes it much harder to see if any light pollution or moonlight exists in the sky. Use your lowest power eyepiece and try averted vision.

To find more space objects have a look at the constellation guide by clicking the link or go back to the list of deep space objects.


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