Triangulum constellation is small but worth looking for in November skies

Nov 10, 2021, 2:30 PM
(Hubble Space Telescope Photo)...
(Hubble Space Telescope Photo)
(Hubble Space Telescope Photo)

The month of November opens up with clear skies, little moonlight and the promise of some really interesting objects to view in our Arizona skies.

In past columns, I have suggested that you look to the northeastern sky after sunset for the amazing and massive galaxy known as the Andromeda Galaxy or M31.

I do hope that you had the chance to at least view this massive galaxy in binoculars or a telescope.

While there is plenty of time to find the Andromeda Galaxy, we now turn our attention to another massive star system, one which is even father away than the great distance of 2.4 million light years for Andromeda.

Just below the constellation of Andromeda, lies the small but interesting constellation of Triangulum, the triangle.

With only 132 square degrees of sky and the 78th constellation in total size, Triangulum is noted for the three bright stars that make it up.

Here is what the Triangulum looks like on a star chart.

Within a few degrees of the bright star Alpha Trianguli we come to one of the most amazing sky objects in the fall skies. This is the massive galaxy known as M33 or the Triangulum Galaxy.

While rather faint, at visual magnitude plus 5.72 is at the near limit of naked eye visibility. The galaxy is one of the most distant objects you can see with binoculars or even under moonless skies.

Here is a great image of the galaxy.

The galaxy may have well over 40 billion stars and is located at the incredible distance of some 2.7 to 3.7 million light years from Earth.

Discovered back in 1654 by Italian astronomers, the galaxy is often referred to as the great “Pinwheel Galaxy” due to its nearly top view from Earth.

Here is a way to help locate the great Triangulum Galaxy.

Our Milky Way Galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy and the Triangulum Galaxy are all part of a larger group of galaxies known as the Local Group.

Here are the details on the Local Group.

Look at these galaxies while you can as the Andromeda Galaxy will collide with our Milky Way and collide with the Triangulum Galaxy in a few billion years.

Here is that event in a simple image.

The best skies await us in November, so try looking for the galaxy when the moon is not a factor. The best opportunity would be from Nov. 1-10 nd then from Nov. 25-30.

Next week, we will discuss the details of the longest near total lunar eclipse of the century that takes place for us on the morning of Nov. 19.

Stay tuned!

To print your own monthly star chart, click here.

To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.

Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday at 3 a.m.

Podcasts are available here.

Dr. Sky Blog

(NASA Photo)...
Steve Kates

Red letter days ahead in December as Mars moves closer to Earth

During the month of December, expect to hear a lot about Mars and how best to view it and learn about it.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photos)...
Steve Kates

It’s not a Thanksgiving turkey in the sky – that’s Cygnus the Swan

Point a pair of binoculars toward the sky on Thanksgiving night and find the magnificent Cygnus the Swan constellation.
8 days ago
NASA's new moon rocket lifts off from Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral,...
Steve Kates

Everything you need to know about NASA’s Artemis I rocket to the moon

The long-awaited launch of the NASA Artemis 1 moon rocket has finally happened!
15 days ago
This Crab Nebula mosaic image was taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. (NASA/ESA Image)...
Steve Kates

The magic of constellation Taurus includes open star clusters

As we move deeper into the skies of autumn, we come across the zodiac sign of Taurus the Bull.
22 days ago
(NASA Image)...
Steve Kates

Taurid meteor shower could bring in colorful fireball season in coming days

With Halloween behind us and the prospect of a new set of November events to look forward to in our skies, we present fireball season 2022!
29 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Steve Kates

Lots to be thankful for up in the November skies, including a total lunar eclipse

As 2022 is nearly complete, we look to the skies of November for some amazing events to rally around, the best of which is a total lunar eclipse.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Triangulum constellation is small but worth looking for in November skies