Galaxy NGC 5236

Image exposure:
12.7 Minutes
Image field of view:
39.2 x 25.9 arcmin
Image date:

Sometimes known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, M83 in Hydra is a good target at magnitude 7.1 with a diameter of 13.6 arc-minutes.

It’s a weak barred face-on spiral galaxy with a similar diameter to the Milky Way and is about 160 Milky Way diameters distant (16 million light years), with a bright circular nucleus.

It’s located at a southern declination of -30°, so it passes directly overhead at my location and would be low in the southern sky for many northern hemisphere observers.

Gotta love that little straight line of stars towards the lower edge of the galaxy!

There is a pair of more distant galaxies in the image, appearing above M83 at about 11 o’clock. They are ESO 444-85 and 6dFGS gJ133729.5-295028.

After a frustrating evening chasing the cloud gaps, all I could manage during this entire four hour session was just twelve minutes of usable image. I was hoping for more but here it is anyway.

Telescope:Meade LX-90 200mm Schmidt-Cassegrain
(deforked); 2000 mm f/l @ f/10.
Optics:Astronomik light pollution filter.
Mount & Guiding:SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro mount.
Imaging camera:ZWO ASI 071 MC cooled.

The Blind Astronomer

Cosmic Focus Observatory

34° South

Above us only sky….

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Images © Roger Powell

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ABOVE US ONLY SKY : amateur astronomy in australia


    1. Yes, viewing other galaxies face-on like this provides a general picture of our own galaxy’s structure. Same size as our galaxy but with some structural differences of course. I think our galaxy has a more intricate spiral arm system.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I think you are right about that. I wonder if our galaxy evidences as much gaseous, nebula type matter in between and around the ‘spirals’ like M83 seems to. I had the impression that between the Milky Way’s arms things were relatively empty.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Astronomers are still mapping the galactic structure. We know there are four principal spiral arms. If you ‘google milky way structure’ you will find all sorts of artistic impressions, some of them probably based on scientific data, others not.

          My understanding is that spiral arms consist of bright young stars triggered by density waves. There is almost certainly matter in between the spiral arms.

          Liked by 1 person

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