Messier 83

Messier 83 or M83, also known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy and NGC 5236, is a barred spiral galaxy[7] approximately 15 million light-years away in the constellation borders of Hydra and Centaurus. Nicolas Louis de Lacaille discovered M83 on February 23, 1752 at the Cape of Good Hope.[8] Charles Messier added it to his catalogue of nebulous objects (now known as the Messier Catalogue) in March 1781.[8] It is one of the closest and brightest barred spiral galaxies in the sky, and is visible with binoculars.[9] Its nickname of the Southern Pinwheel derives from its resemblance to the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101).

Messier 83
Hubble view of barred spiral galaxy Messier 83.jpg
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Right ascension 13h 37m 00.919s[1]
Declination−29° 51′ 56.74″[1]
Helio radial velocity508 km/s[3]
Distance14.7 Mly (4.50 Mpc)[3]
Apparent magnitude (V)7.54[4]
Apparent size (V)12′.9 × 11′.5[5]
Other designations
Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, NGC 5236, PGC 48082, UGCA 366,[6]


M83 is a massive, grand design spiral galaxy.[10] Its morphological classification in the De Vaucouleurs system is SAB(s)c,[2] where the 'SAB' denotes a weak-barred spiral, '(s)' indicates a pure spiral structure with no ring, and 'c' means the spiral arms are loosely wound.[11] The peculiar dwarf galaxy NGC 5253 lies near M83,[12] and the two likely interacted within the last billion years resulting in starburst activity in their central regions.[10]

The star formation rate in M83 is higher along the leading edge of the spiral arms, as predicted by density wave theory.[13] NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer project on April 16, 2008 reported finding large numbers of new stars in the outer reaches of the galaxy – 20 kpc from the center. It had hitherto been thought that these areas lacked the materials necessary for star formation.[14][15]


Six supernovae have been observed in M83: SN 1923A, SN 1945B, SN 1950B, SN 1957D,[16] SN 1968L and SN 1983N.


M83 is at the center of one of two subgroups within the Centaurus A/M83 Group, a nearby galaxy group.[17] Centaurus A is at the center of the other subgroup. These are sometimes identified as one group,[18][19] and sometimes as two.[20] 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.[21]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Skrutskie, M. F.; et al. (February 2006). "The Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS)". The Astronomical Journal. 131 (2): 1163–1183. Bibcode:2006AJ....131.1163S. doi:10.1086/498708.
  2. ^ a b c de Vaucouleurs, G.; et al. (1991). "Third reference catalogue of bright galaxies". 9. New York: Springer-Verlag. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ a b Tully, R. Brent; et al. (August 2016). "Cosmicflows-3". The Astronomical Journal. 152 (2): 21. arXiv:1605.01765. Bibcode:2016AJ....152...50T. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/2/50. 50.
  4. ^ Armando, Gil de Paz; Boissier, Samuel; Madore, Barry F.; Seibert, Mark; Joe, Young H.; et al. (2007). "The GALEX Ultraviolet Atlas of Nearby Galaxies". Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 173 (2): 185–255. arXiv:astro-ph/0606440. Bibcode:2007ApJS..173..185G. doi:10.1086/516636.
  5. ^ "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 5236. Retrieved 8 December 2006.
  6. ^ "M 83". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  7. ^ "Multimedia Gallery: M83 – Southern Pinwheel Galaxy". NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team. 25 June 2010.
  8. ^ a b Jones, K. G. (1991). Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-37079-0.
  9. ^ "M 83". 11 October 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  10. ^ a b Calzetti, Daniela; Conselice, Christopher J.; Gallagher, John S., III; Kinney, Anne L. (August 1999). "The Structure and Morphology of the Ionized Gas in Starburst Galaxies: NGC 5253/5236". The Astronomical Journal. 118 (2): 797–816. arXiv:astro-ph/9904428. Bibcode:1999AJ....118..797C. doi:10.1086/300972.
  11. ^ de Vaucouleurs, Gérard (April 1963). "Revised Classification of 1500 Bright Galaxies". Astrophysical Journal Supplement. 8: 31. Bibcode:1963ApJS....8...31D. doi:10.1086/190084.
  12. ^ Thim, Frank; et al. (June 2003), "The Cepheid Distance to NGC 5236 (M83) with the ESO Very Large Telescope", The Astrophysical Journal, 590 (1): 256–270, arXiv:astro-ph/0303101, Bibcode:2003ApJ...590..256T, doi:10.1086/374888
  13. ^ Silva-Villa, E.; Larsen, S. S. (January 2012). "The relation between surface star formation rate density and spiral arms in NGC 5236 (M 83)". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 537: 9. arXiv:1111.1249. Bibcode:2012A&A...537A.145S. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201117432. A145.
  14. ^ "Stellar Birth in the Galactic Wilderness". 16 April 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  15. ^ Dong, Hui; et al. (July 2008). "Spitzer Observations of Star Formation in the Extreme Outer Disk of M83 (NGC5236)". The Astronomical Journal. 136 (1): 479–497. arXiv:0804.3632. Bibcode:2008AJ....136..479D. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/136/1/479.
  16. ^ Romaniello, Martino; Patat, Ferdinando; Panagia, Nino; Sparks, William B.; Gilmozzi, Roberto; Spyromilio, Jason (August 2005), "Very Large Telescope FORS1 Imaging Polarimetry of M83 (NGC 5236). I. Search for Light Echoes from Historical Supernovae", The Astrophysical Journal, 629 (1): 250–258, arXiv:astro-ph/0505100, Bibcode:2005ApJ...629..250R, doi:10.1086/431470
  17. ^ Karachentsev, I. D.; 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.
  18. ^ R. B. Tully (1988). Nearby Galaxies Catalog. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-35299-4.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Garcia, A. (1993). "General study of group membership. II – Determination of nearby groups". Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement. 100: 47–90. Bibcode:1993A&AS..100...47G.
  21. ^ Karachentsev, I. D. (2005). "The Local Group and Other Neighboring Galaxy Groups". Astronomical Journal. 129 (1): 178–188. arXiv:astro-ph/0410065. Bibcode:2005AJ....129..178K. doi:10.1086/426368.

External linksEdit

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