From the 2Mass Image Gallery
The Local Group spiral galaxy Messier 33 (M33). M33 is at a distance of about 850 kpc. The spiral arms appear resplendent in resolved stars and unresolved clusters. The brightest red clump along the eastern end of the northern arm is the giant H II region NGC 604; the fainter red clump along this same arm, but just north and west of the galaxy's nucleus, is the giant H II region NGC 595. These two nebulae are highlighted in the near-infrared by the red supergiants in the ionizing stellar associations. Recent massive star formation contributes significantly to the near-infrared emission from M33. There is a weak, bar-shaped excess in the stellar mass distribution is present in the inner 1.5 min of M33, which can also be seen in the 2MASS image, although it is unclear whether this excess traces the inward extension of the spiral arms or a true bar. Some of the more diffuse arms in this galaxy are also faintly seen in this image. The prominent trail of persistence ghost images south of the brightest foreground star in the image is a known set of artifacts. Mosaic image construction for M33 by E. Kopan (IPAC).
This image us a three-band composites constructed from 2MASS Atlas Images. They are infrared images and therefore must be mapped into false colors: J light (1.2 µm) into blue, H light (1.6 µm) in green, and Ks light (2.2 µm) into red. The Atlas Images are produced in the 2MASS Production Processing System. North is up and east is to the left.
The text is based on accompanying on-line materials.
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Last Modified On: Sunday, December 17, 2000