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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 20:10 EDT
Spiral Galaxy Messier 83
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Spiral Galaxy Messier 83

August 23, 2005
If our Milky Way were to resemble this one, we certainly would be proud of our home! The beautiful spiral galaxy Messier 83 is located in the southern constellation Hydra (the Water Snake) and is also known as NGC 5236 and as the Southern Pinwheel galaxy. Its distance is about 15 million light-years. Being about twice as small as the Milky Way, its size on the sky is 11x10 arcmin2.

The image show clumpy, well-defined spiral arms that are rich in young stars, while the disc reveals a complex system of intricate dust lanes. This galaxy is known to be a site of vigorous star formation.