M33, also called the Triangulum Galaxy or Pinwheel Galaxy, is a flocculent spiral galaxy located only 3 million light years away towards the constellation Triangulum. It is the third largest galaxy in our Local Group, behind Andromeda and the Milky Way, and contains some 40 billion stars.
Flocculent spirals have patchy, loose spiral arms. Still, regions of star formation pepper the arms of M33, including NGC 604, an enormous region of star formation in the upper left arm. M33 is also home to many variable stars, used by astronomers to estimate distances and allowing them to use M33 as a yardstick for the distance scale of the Universe.
Tarantula Nebula Bright Emission Nebula in the LMC The Tarantula Nebula is an incredibly bright emission nebula located in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) in the southern constellation of Dorado with an apparent magnitude of +8 at a distance of 160,000 light years. It is huge, being nearly 640 light years across. It is also known as 30 Doradus, Caldwell 103 and NGC 2070. It is the most active region of star formation in our local group of galaxies.
A massive star plowing through the gas and dust floating in space. Zeta Oph is a bruiser, with 20 times the Sun’s mass. It’s an incredibly luminous star, blasting out light at a rate 80,000 times higher than the Sun! Even at its distance of 400 light years or so, it should be one of the brightest stars in the sky … yet it actually appears relatively dim to the eye.