Messier 83

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Messier 83
M83 - Southern Pinwheel.jpg
ESO view of barred spiral galaxy Messier 83[1]
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Constellation Hydra
Right ascension 13h 37m 00.9s[2]
Declination −29° 51′ 57″[2]
Redshift 513 ± 2 km/s[2]

15.21 Mly (4.61 Mpc)

Apparent magnitude (V) 7.54[4][5]
Type SAB(s)c[2]
Apparent size (V) 12′.9 × 11′.5[2]
Other designations
NGC 5236,[2] UGCA 366,[2] PGC 48082,[2] Southern Pinwheel Galaxy[6]
See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies

Messier 83 (also known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, M83 or NGC 5236) is a barred spiral galaxy[7] approximately 15 million light-years away in the constellation Hydra. It is one of the closest and brightest barred spiral galaxies in the sky, making it visible with binoculars.[8] Six supernovae (SN 1923A, SN 1945B, SN 1950B, SN 1957D, SN 1968L and SN 1983N) have been observed in M83. Its nickname of the Southern Pinwheel derives from its resemblance to the Pinwheel Galaxy.


Nicolas Louis de Lacaille discovered M83 on February 23, 1752 at the Cape of Good Hope.[9] Charles Messier added it to his catalogue of nebulous objects (now known as the Messier Catalogue) in March 1781.[9]

On 16 June 2008 NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer project reported finding large numbers of new stars in the outer reaches of the galaxy. It had hitherto been thought that these areas lacked the materials necessary for star formation.[10]

Nearby galaxies and galaxy group information[edit]

M83 is at the center of one of two subgroups within the Centaurus A/M83 Group, a nearby galaxy group.[11] Centaurus A is at the center of the other subgroup. These two groups are sometimes identified as one group[12][13] and sometimes identified as two groups.[14] However, the galaxies around Centaurus A and the galaxies around M83 are physically close to each other, and both subgroups appear not to be moving relative to each other.[15]

Zoom into M83

Popular culture[edit]

The French synthpop band M83 are named after this galaxy.[citation needed]

The band Clutch makes reference to M83 in their song Spacegrass off their self titled album. "Hey kid, are you going my way? Hop in, we'll have ourselves a field day. We'll find us some spacegrass, Lay low, watch the universe expand. Skyway, permanent Saturday. Oh, by the way, Saturn is my rotary. Hop in, it'll be eternity Till we make it to M83." [16]


  1. ^ "A galaxy with two hearts". ESA/Hubble Picture of the Week. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 5236. Retrieved 2006-12-08. 
  3. ^ Saha, A.; Thim, F.; Tammann, G. A.; Reindl, B.; Sandage, A. (2006). "Cepheid Distances to SNe Ia Host Galaxies Based on a Revised Photometric Zero Point of theHSTWFPC2 and New PL Relations and Metallicity Corrections". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 165: 108. arXiv:astro-ph/0602572Freely accessible. Bibcode:2006ApJS..165..108S. doi:10.1086/503800. 
  4. ^ "M 83". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  5. ^ Armando, Gil de Paz; Boissier; Madore; Seibert; Boselli; et al. (2007). "The GALEX Ultraviolet Atlas of Nearby Galaxies". Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 173 (2): 185–255. arXiv:astro-ph/0606440Freely accessible. Bibcode:2007ApJS..173..185G. doi:10.1086/516636. 
  6. ^ "SIMBAD astronomical database". Results for M83. Retrieved 2007-05-02. 
  7. ^ "Multimedia Gallery: M83 – Southern Pinwheel Galaxy". NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team. 25 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "M 83". 11 October 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2018. 
  9. ^ a b K. G. Jones (1991). Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37079-5. 
  10. ^ "Stellar Birth in the Galactic Wilderness". 
  11. ^ I. D. Karachentsev; M. E. Sharina; A. E. Dolphin; E. K. Grebel; D. Geisler; P. Guhathakurta; et al. (2002). "New distances to galaxies in the Centaurus A group". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 385 (1): 21–31. Bibcode:2002A&A...385...21K. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20020042. 
  12. ^ R. B. Tully (1988). Nearby Galaxies Catalog. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-35299-1. 
  13. ^ Fouque, P.; Gourgoulhon, E.; Chamaraux, P.; Paturel, G. (1992). "Groups of galaxies within 80 Mpc. II – The catalogue of groups and group members". Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement. 93: 211–233. Bibcode:1992A&AS...93..211F. 
  14. ^ A. Garcia (1993). "General study of group membership. II – Determination of nearby groups". Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement. 100: 47–90. Bibcode:1993A&AS..100...47G. 
  15. ^ I. D. Karachentsev (2005). "The Local Group and Other Neighboring Galaxy Groups". Astronomical Journal. 129 (1): 178–188. arXiv:astro-ph/0410065Freely accessible. Bibcode:2005AJ....129..178K. doi:10.1086/426368. 
  16. ^ "CLUTCH Discography: Standard Releases". Retrieved 19 April 2018. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: Sky map 13h 37m 00.9s, −29° 51′ 57″