Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spiral Galaxy M83: The Southern Pinwheel

Spiral Galaxy M83: The Southern Pinwheel: APOD: 2014 January 28 - Spiral Galaxy M83: The Southern Pinwheel





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2014 January 28




See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.
Spiral Galaxy M83: The Southern Pinwheel
Image Credit:
NASA,
ESA,
Hubble Heritage Team
(STScI/AURA), and
W. P. Blair
(JHU)
et al.
Explanation:
M83 is one of
the closest and brightest
spiral galaxies on the
sky.

Visible with binoculars in the constellation of
Hydra, majestic spiral arms
have prompted its nickname as the
Southern Pinwheel.

Although discovered 250 years ago,
only
much later
was it appreciated that
M83 was not a nearby gas cloud, but a
barred
spiral galaxy
much like our own
Milky Way Galaxy.

M83, pictured above by the Hubble Space Telescope in a recently released image,
is a prominent member of a group of galaxies that includes
Centaurus A and
NGC 5253, all of which lie about 15 million
light years distant.

Several bright supernova explosions
have been recorded in
M83.

An intriguing double
circumnuclear ring
has been discovered
at the center of of M83.





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Tomorrow's picture: jellystone park


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