The spiral galaxy, Messier 83, NGC 5236 (wide field view)
AAO image reference AAT 8a.     « Previous || Next »

A spiral galaxy, NGC 5236, M83, Messier 83, m83.jpg, ngc5236.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 29 arc min
Image and text © 2000-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.

M83 is in Hydra and is thought to be very like our own Galaxy, the Milky Way, but seen from above one of its poles and at a distance of about 15 million light years. Composed of billions of stars and huge clouds of dust and gas, this object is one of the finest examples of a spiral galaxy and shows a concentration of older, yellow stars in its central nucleus with younger, blue stars and patchy red clouds of glowing gas and dark dust lanes in the trailing spiral arms. The massive blue stars occasionally explode as supernovae; at least eight have been seen in Messier 83 in the last 70 years. This new, wide angle view is about half a degree across (about the size of the full moon) and shows the galaxy set in a rich field of foreground stars of the Milky Way -- our own galaxy.

Related Images
AAT 8.          The spiral galaxy, Messier 83, (NGC 5236)
AAT-CCD-1.  Around the nucleus of Messier 83
n5236_d.       NGC 5236, Messier 83
Constellation of Hydra (external site)

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1