Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, Messier 83 (Copy)


The Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, Messier 83  Big, bright, and beautiful, spiral  barred galaxy Messier 83 lies a mere twelve million light-years away, near the southeastern tip of the very long southern constellation Hydra. Prominent spiral arms traced by dark dust lanes and blue star clusters lend this galaxy its popular name, The Southern Pinwheel as it resembles Messier 101 known as the Pinwheel Galaxy in the far northern skies. It is referred to as a barred galaxy because its central region is elongated(lower left to upper right). Reddish star forming regions that dot the sweeping arms highlight this color composite which are accentuated by atomic Hydrogen radiation data used to form this image.  In fact, the core of M83 itself is bright at X-ray energies, showing a high concentration of neutron stars and black holes left from an intense burst of star formation due to a close encounter with another galaxy.  In addition this galaxy has two black holes in its center, a feature that has also been spotted in the Andromeda Galaxy , the nearest spiral galaxy to us. As well as this double nucleus, Messier 83 has hosted quite a few supernova explosions — six in total that we have observed.  Almost 300 supernova remnants — the older leftovers from exploded stars — have also been found within Messier 83.  Some 3000 star clusters have been identified in Messier 83, some of which are very young at under 5 million years old. This composite color image also features foreground  spiky Milky Way stars and distant background galaxies seen at the bottom. It is 40,000 light years in size, about  one third of the size of the Milky Way, and it is about one third of the size of the full moon in the sky. The image data was taken from the Martin Pugh’s CDK17 in New South Wales Australia.


Optics: Planewave 17″ CDK17
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount ME
Camera: SBIG STXL 11002
Filters: L,R,G,B, Ha Astrodon 3nm
Dates/Times: April 2019
Location: New South Wales Australia, Martin Pugh Observatory
Exposure Details: L,R,G,B, 15x20min each, Ha 4x30min, 64 images over 22 hours
Acquisition: MaxIm DL
Processing:  MaxIm DL, Photoshop CC2020