Spiral galaxy M83

The bright spiral galaxy Messier 83 (NGC 5236) in Hydra, in a (nearly) true-color composite image based on 4-minute blue and 2-minute red exposures (in twilight) with a Tektronix 2048x2048 CCD at the prime focus of the 4-meter Mayall telescope of Kitt Peak National Observatory. North is at the top and east to the left, for direct comparison with a chart or eyepiece view. The image has been block-averaged to 512x512 for this presentation, which uses a logarithmic intensity transformation to preserve information across a wide dynamic range. The field is 14.3 arcminutes square.

A somewhat better view of the bright inner parts, with dust lanes threading among star-forming regions, comes in this BVR view from the 1-meter Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope (JKT), operated on the island of La Palma by the SARA consortium.>/p>

The star-forming regions are emphasized in this overlay of Hα emission (red) on the starlight continuum of M83, from the 0.6m SARA telescope at Cerro Tololo, Chile.

M83 is part of the Centaurus group of galaxies, some of our nearest cosmic neighbors. The group is dominated by M83's showier neighbor Centaurus A (NGC 5128) , which is the closest double-lobed radio galaxy.

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