• Spiral Galaxy M83 print

Galaxy M83

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Nicolas Louis de Lacaille (1713-1762) discovered M83 on February 23rd, 1752 at the Cape of Good Hope. The spiral galaxy M83 (also known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy) is approximately 15 million lightyears away in the constellation Hydra. It is one of the closest and brightest spiral galaxies in the sky. This gives astronomers an excellent chance to study a galaxy that, although half as big, appears very similar in construction to our own Milky Way.

Astronomers have suggested that because the galaxy’s visible nucleus is off-centre, that this could be the result of having absorbed a small satellite galaxy in the past. The nucleus may be what is left of the smaller galaxy’s core.

Six supernovae have been observed in the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy in the past century, with astronomers having found close to 300 supernova remnants. This will help them learn more about the progenitor stars (white dwarf stars that draws material from its companion).

In June 2008, NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer project announced the sighting of large numbers of newly formed stars in the galaxy’s outer regions. Astronomers had previously believed that these regions lacked the materials necessary for star formation to take place.

Being about twice as small as the Milky Way, this image shows clumpy, well-defined spiral arms that are loaded with young stars, while the disc reveals an intricate system of complex dust lanes. This galaxy is known to be a site of dynamic star development.

Pigment inks on 271gsm satin paper, professionally hand-bonded onto a 5mm cast acrylic panel. Currently available in three sizes:

  • 36″ (w) × 22.5″ (h)
  • 24″ (w) × 15″ (h)
  • 12″ (w) × 7.5″ (h)

Each acrylic print comes ready to hang.

FREE delivery.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Acknowledgement: W. Blair (STScI/Johns Hopkins University) and R. O’Connell (University of Virginia)