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
Messier 83
Messier 83: Barred spira galaxy in constellation Hydra; TEC 140 ED F/7 APO-Refractor; TEC-Fieldflattener; SBIG STT-8300M; Alt 6 ADN; 38 x 5 min, -40 °C; Namibia, Kiripotib Astrofarm, 1350 m AMSL; © 6. 7. 2013 Manuel Jung


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]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
DesignationNGC 5236
TypeGx (Sc)
Right Ascension (J2000.0)13h 37m 00.2s
Declination (J2000.0)-29° 52' 02"
Diameter12.9 × 11.5 arcmin
Photographic (blue) magnitude8.2 mag
Visual magnitude7.5 mag
Surface brightness12.8 mag·arcmin-2
Position Angle44°
Distance derived from z7.23 Mpc
Metric Distance6.960 Mpc
Dreyer Description!!, (H, h) vB, vL, E 55°, esbMN, (L) 3 branched spiral
Identification, RemarksM 83, ESO 444-81, MCG -5-32-50, UGCA 366, IRAS 13342-2933

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.

Finder Chart Galaxy Messier 83
Galaxy Messier 83 in constellation Hydra. Charts created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. Limiting magnitudes: Constellation chart ~6.5 mag, DSS2 close-ups ~20 mag. [149, 160]

Visual Observation

Description pending ...

More Objects Nearby (±20°)


  • [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
  • [145] SIMBAD astronomical database;
  • [149] SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
  • [160] The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
  • [277] «Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)