EbolaBooze’s Fortnightly Astro Corner: The Southern Pinwheel Galaxy

Today, we have a pretty fun object, another galaxy! Messier 83, also known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, M83 or NGC 5236 is a large galaxy in the constellation Hydra, and is one of the closest barred spiral galaxies to the Milky Way.

For a handy galaxy type identification chart, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy#Types_and_morphology

M83 is visible with binoculars from a dark sky as a fuzzy blob, and detail can be seen in the arms with telescopes with aperture 254mm and above. Again, a dark sky is ideal, but a large enough telescope can actually see it in mild light pollution.

This photo is an LRGB composite taken over 5 hours – 12x 5 min exposures in red, green and blue, plus 24x 5 min exposures in luminance. There are actually 7 galaxies in the photo, see if you can spot them all!

Pinwheel LRGB

Clear skies!

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