hecrom – m-33
taken from ZIMMER094
The Triangulum Galaxy was probably discovered by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Battista Hodierna before 1654. In his work De systemate orbis cometici; deque admirandis coeli caracteribus (“About the systematics of the cometary orbit, and about the admirable objects of the sky”), he listed it as a cloud-like nebulosity or obscuration and gave the cryptic description, “near the Triangle hinc inde”. This is in reference to the constellation of Triangulum as a pair of triangles. The magnitude of the object matches M33, so it is most likely a reference to the Triangulum galaxy.
The galaxy was independently discovered by Charles Messier on the night of August 25–26, 1764. It was published in his Catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters (1771) as object number 33; hence the name M33. When William Herschel compiled his extensive catalogue of nebulae, he was careful not to include most of the objects identified by Messier. However, M33 was an exception and he catalogued this object on September 11, 1784 as H V-17. NGC 604 in the Triangulum Galaxy
Herschel also catalogued the Triangulum Galaxy’s brightest and largest H II region (diffuse emission nebula containing ionized hydrogen) as H III.150 separately from the galaxy itself, which eventually obtained NGC number 604. As seen from Earth, NGC 604 is located northeast of the galaxy’s central core. It is one of the largest H II regions known, with a diameter of nearly 1500 light-years and a spectrum similar to that of the Orion Nebula. Herschel also noted 3 other smaller H II regions (NGC 588, 592 and 595).
It was among the first “spiral nebulae” identified as such by Lord Rosse in 1850. In 1922–23, John Charles Duncan and Max Wolf discovered variable stars in the nebulae. Edwin Hubble showed in 1926 that 35 of these stars were classic cepheids, thereby allowing him to estimate their distances. The results were consistent with the concept of spiral nebulae being independent galactic systems of gas and dust, rather than just nebulae in the Milky Way.[wikipedia]