NGC 604 Nebula in m33 the Triangulum Galaxy

By: Vlad Fedosov

Object info:

NGC 604 is a nebula that is located in m33, the Triangulum Galaxy. The object is 2.7 million light-years away but still appears at a relatively bright Mag 14! Part of what makes it so bright is its shear size at about 1,500 light years. In fact if this object was in our galaxy at the distance that m42 is it would be about as bright as Venus! The object is 1.93×1.2 arcmins in size. Size wise this is quite small but considering its inside a different galaxy this is still quite big.


This object was has been a fascinating object for me and a group of friends this fall. This is the first season that I have intentionally observed it visually with my 16″ Dob. It does show some structure. The object is quite easy to spot in comparison to the rest of the m33’s spiral structure. Not to state the obvious but the larger aperture you have the better chance you will have of spotting detail in this object. Since it is fairly small and bright it does take magnification very well. I used my 5.5mm 100° Explore Scientific(see review) that produced 295x to observe the object the best. It was magnified well and still quite bright. I could not quite put my finger on the exact shape of the object that I saw at the eyepiece. It was best described as irregular. This first observation was done under a dark sky at a star party near Maupin, OR.

On a different night at a star party me and a few where checking it out with a 15″ Ultra Compact Obsession dob. It was as clear as day to us all and we could see the basic structure(again quite irregular) of it and the unevenness in the brightness. All three of us where really surprised at the ease that this little gem was visible. We used several powers from low to high and again a higher power revealed the most detail.

This image of m33 was taken with my FLT-110(TEC). In there in an insert of an EAA stack of NGC 206 taken with my Meade 12″ ACF @f/10. This was kind of my follow up on the visual success:) Both where shot with my ASI 294MC Pro. The exposure time of m33 was about 3 hours from a dark sky site. The EAA stack was taken from my light-polluted backyard and was about a 1 hour stack in Sharpcap. If you look closely at the image on NGC 604 you can actually see individual stars! There is a Cloudy Nights thread regarding visually seeing these stars:… I have not tried for individual stars visually as at the time I did not know that it was possible! Next time I’m out under a dark sky I will give it a shot for sure. Also if you take a close look at the image of NGC 604 it is no wonder an irregular shape was noted. It truly is irregular in overall shape! If you have a relatively large aperture scope this is certainly a very, very interesting object to check out. I’m blown away that armature scopes can show details in deep sky objects in a different galaxy!