Galaxy Messier 83

Messier 83
Messier 83: Spiral galaxy in Hydra; TEC APO 140 ED refractor f=980 mm; SBIG STT-8300 SG; Alt-6 ADN mount; L 105 min; R 40 min; G 40 min; B 40 min; -40 °C; Farm Kiripotib, Namibia; © 5-6 July 2013 Hansjörg Wälchli [46]
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 [45]
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 [29]


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, © 2022 Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Designation NGC 5236
Type Gx (Sc)
Right Ascension (J2000.0) 13h 37m 00.2s
Declination (J2000.0) -29° 52' 02"
Diameter 12.9 × 11.5 arcmin
Photographic (blue) magnitude 8.2 mag
Visual magnitude 7.5 mag
Surface brightness 12.8 mag·arcmin-2
Position Angle 44°
Redshift (z) 0.001711
Distance derived from z 7.23 Mpc
Metric Distance 6.960 Mpc
Dreyer Description !!, (H, h) vB, vL, E 55°, esbMN, (L) 3 branched spiral
Identification, Remarks h 3523; GC 3606; M 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 January to April.

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]

Objects Within a Radius of 15°