Galactic Neighbor M33: The Triangulum Galaxy

This is the latest data that has been captured and processed at the Grand Mesa Observatory in Western Colorado. This data came from System #2 here at GMO, the centerpiece of which is a Sky-Watcher Esprit 150mm ED F7.0 Triplet APO Refractor that Sky-Watcher USA have sent to us for testing. Observatory director Terry Hancock acquired the data in Color using LRGB Filters as well as with an H-Alpha filter which was added to the red channel. This system employs a prototype QHY168 Monochrome CMOS camera with an APS-C format sensor, which is another item sent to GMO for testing as part of official partnership with QHY as beta testers. All of this sits atop a Paramount ME, and for anyone interested in acquiring some data from this system please check out our subscription and custom data set options!


Image capture details:

Operator: Terry Hancock (

Location: Grand Mesa Observatory, Purdy Mesa, Colorado

Dates: September 9-10, 2018

Optics: Sky-Watcher Esprit 150mm ED Triplet APO Refractor

Camera: QHY168M Monochrome CMOS APS-C Beta
LRGB, 500 min, 25 x 300 sec each, bin 1x1
H-Alpha 200 min, 20 x 600 sec, bin 1x1
Gain 10, Offset 30, Calibrated with Flat, Dark & Bias
Total Integration time: HaLRGB 11.6 hours

Image Acquisition software Maxim DL5

Pre Processed in Pixinsight

Post Processed in Photoshop


“The Triangulum Galaxy is the third largest galaxy within the Local group, behind Andromeda and our own Milky Way.  Found in its namesake constellation of Triangulum, this galaxy bears the distinction of the most distant object which can be seen with the naked eye and is a wonderful example of a classic spiral galaxy.  It has enjoyed a rather quiescent life, having evolved without any major tidal interactions with other galaxies and its structure is very uniform as a result.

In 2007 astronomers using the Chandra X-ray Observatory, in orbit around Earth, detected the largest stellar-mass black hole ever found within M33.  The 16 solar-mass black hole has an obital stellar companion, and from our vantage point, the black hole eclipses its binary companion, blocking its view, every 3.5 days.

M33 is also an important object to astronomers because it is the ultimate gauge for the darkness of a location.  It takes just a tiny bit of light pollution to eliminate this object from view.”