Messier 83, the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

Barred Spiral Galaxy in Hydra

Known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, Messier 83 is a spectacular example of a face-on barred spiral galaxy. At a distance of about 15 million light years, it is also relatively nearby. It is a member of the same group of galaxies as the bright Centaurus A.

This galaxy does not seem to get the attention that it deserves, probably because it is low in the southern sky for observers in the northern hemisphere, and having to view it through a thicker layer of the earth's atmosphere dims the galaxy's visual appearance. It is the southernmost of all the galaxies on Messier's list.

Magnitude 7.5
Apparent Size 11' x 10'
Distance (light yrs) 15 million
Right Ascension 13:37.0
Declination -29 52
Field of View 35' x 27'

Image details:  Exposure times of 10 minutes luminance and 6 minutes each of red, green, and blue, taken with an SBIG ST-8300M camera through a Meade 12” telescope at f/5.6.

June 2012