|Rektascenzija||13 : 37.0 (u:m)
|Deklinacija||-29 : 52 (sto:m)
|Razdalja||15000 (*1000 sv.l.)
|Vizual. magnituda||7.6 (mag)
|Zorni kot||11x10 (loc min)
M83 was classified as intermediate between normal and barred spiral galaxies by G. de Vaucouleurs, in his classification this is SAB(s)c. It is magnificient in our image, has very well defined spiral arms and displays a very dynamic appearance, appealing by the red and blue knots tracing the arms. The red knots are apparently diffuse gaseous nebulae in which star formation is just taking place, and which are excited to shine by its very hot young stars. The blue regions represent young stellar populations which have formed shortly (i.e., some million or some dozens of million years ago). The dust lanes may be traced well into the central region to the nucleus which has only 20" diameter.
Our image was obtained by David Malin and is courtesy of David Malin and the Anglo Australian Telescope Board.
David Malin, in his older publications, always gave a distance of about 25 million light years, as he does in his book A View of the Universe in chapter 4, while in his Galaxis chapter 8, he joins the lot of those claiming a distance of about 10 million light years, and gives an argument, namely that the brightest stars can be viewed as individuals over this distance. M83 recedes at 337 km/sec, implying a bit larger distance from Hubble's law (H0=75 yields about 15 million light years, uncorrected for the disturbation by the Virgo cluster of galaxies, the Virgo centric flow, but in excellent agreement with the value of 15.3 million light years given in R. Brent Tully's Nearby Galaxies Catalog).
This galaxy is sometimes called the "Southern Pinwheel". It forms a small physical group with the peculiar radio galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128) and the unusual galaxy NGC 5253 in Centaurus.
Five or six supernovae were reported in M83 up to now, more than in any other Messier galaxy:
For years, M83 had been the galaxy with most discovered supernovae, but recently NGC 6946 came up with the same number of 6, or even one more if 1945B should be an error.
M83 was discovered by
Abbe Nicholas Louis de la Caille
at the Cape of Good Hope in 1751-52, it was his object Lacaille I.6.
Thus it became the first galaxy discovered beyond the
Its spiral structure was noted and sketched by William Lassell who
described it as a "three-branched spiral".