Galaxy Messier 83

Messier 83
Messier 83: Galaxy in Hydra; 400 mm f/8.3 Hypergraph + STL 11000M; L:60(100)min R:40min G:40min B:40min; © 2011 Eduard von Bergen


This large galaxy was discovered by Lacaille in 1752 while he was staying at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and mapping the southern starry sky. In 1781 Charles Messier added them to his catalog.

Physical Properties

The two main arms of the galaxy form a mirror-inverted «S». A third, weaker arm arises south of the core and turns to the southwest. M 83 is of the morphological type SAB(s)c and an intermediate form of a spiral galaxy and a barred spiral galaxy. Due to the high rate of star formation and supernovae (six since 1923), M 83 is considered a starburst galaxy.

The measured radial velocities of the last 20 years range from 508 to 519 km/s and distances range from 4.5 Mpc to 5.1 Mpc (14.7 million to 16.6 million light years). [4, 145]

«Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC)», Paturel et al. 1989 [144]
DesignationsPGC 48082: NGC 5236, ESO 444-81, MCG 5-32-50, UGCA 366, M 83, IRAS 13342-2933
Right Ascension (J2000.0)13h 37m 00.2s
Declination (J2000.0)-29° 52' 04"
Morphological TypeSB
Dimensions13.1' x 12.2'
Visual Magnitude8.0 mag
Radial Velocity (HRV)515 km/s
Position Angle°

Finder Chart

M 83 is located in the constellation Hydra on the border with the constellation Centaurus, around 18° south of the bright star Spica (α Virginis) in the constellation Virgo. Connect the stars Menkent (θ Centauri) - Cauda Hydrae (γ Hydrae). M 83 lies almost exactly in the middle. Due to its southern position of -29° declination, the galaxy from Central Europe is highest above the southern horizon at night in the months of April to May.

Chart M 83
Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]


4«Burnham's Celestial Handbook: An Observer's Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System» by Robert Burnham; Dover Publications, Inc.; Voume I: ISBN 0-486-23567-X; Volume II: ISBN 0-486-23568-8; Volume III: ISBN 0-486-23673-0
144Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC); Paturel G., Fouque P., Bottinelli L., Gouguenheim L.; Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 80, 299 (1989); (2021-02-18)
145SIMBAD astronomical database;
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;