Messier 83, NGC 5236
This large spiral galaxy, also known by the catalog number NGC 5236, is sometimes known as the "Southern Pinwheel" and is a spectacular example of a face-on spiral galaxy. Messier 83 was first described in 1751-52 by Abbe Nicholas Louis de la Caille and was included as object 83 by Charles Messier in his catalog on February 17, 1781.
Messier 83 is one of the brightest galaxies in the southern sky and is unusual in that it contains three distinct spiral arms.
The distance to Messier 83 is variously put at 10 million to 15 million light years. Messier 83's other distinction is that six supernova have been reported in the last 100 years. This is unusual because the expected frequency is believed to be one per three hundred years per galaxy.
More information on Messier 83 can be found at:
May 7, 2005
Sum of 12 exposures of 360 seconds each. Total exposure time was 72 minutes.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona
Optics - Takahashi MT-200 8" Newtonian at f/6.0
Mount - Astro-Physics 1200 GTO
Camera - SBIG ST-10XME