M83 - Southern Pinwheel Galaxy

Wise_wise2010-022_500

WISE_WISE2010-022 June 25th, 2010

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

This image from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is of the nearby galaxy Messier 83, or M83 for short. It is a spiral galaxy approximately 15 million light-years away in the constellation Hydra. It is sometimes referred to as the southern Pinwheel galaxy. M101 is called the Pinwheel galaxy and M83 has a similar appearance, but it is located in the southern sky. At about 55,500 light-years across it is a bit more than half the size of the Milky Way Galaxy, but it has a similar overall structure.

Like the Milky Way, most of M83s stars, dust, and gas lie in a thin disk decorated with grand spiral arms. We see the disk of M83 nearly face-on (whereas we see the disk of the Milky Way edge-on since we are inside it). The spiral arms are places where the disk is a little denser with stars and gas, which leads to a higher rate of star formation in them. Where there is star formation, we find more very bright, short-lived stars, and plenty of dust (green and red in this infrared image).

M83 also has a central bulge of stars and dust that has a component that is roughly spherical and a component that is shaped like a bar. So M83 is referred to as a barred spiral galaxy.

This image was made from observations by all four infrared detectors aboard WISE. Blue and cyan represent infrared light at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns, which is primarily light from stars. Green and red represent light at 12 and 22 microns, which is primarily emission from warm dust.

Image Source: /image/WISE/WISE2010-022

Curator: Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Berkeley, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: Pulic Domain

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Southern Pinwheel Galaxy Messier 83 M83 NGC 5236
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy » Type » Spiral
Galaxy » Type » Barred

Distance

Universescale2
4,600,000 light years
Wise_wise2010-022_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 13h 37m 0.8s
DEC = -29° 51’ 56.0”
Orientation
North is 22.3° CW
Field of View
41.2 x 41.2 arcminutes
Constellation
Hydra

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 3.4 µm
Arrow_left_cyan WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 4.6 µm
Arrow_left_green WISE Infrared (Mid-IR) 12.0 µm
Arrow_left_red WISE Infrared (Mid-IR) 22.0 µm
Spectrum_ir1
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_cyan
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Wise_wise2010-022_1280
×
ID
WISE2010-022
Subject Category
C.5.1.1.   C.5.1.2.  
Subject Name
Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, Messier 83, M83, NGC 5236
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Lightyears
4,600,000
Redshift
0.001711
Reference Url
/image/WISE/WISE2010-022
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
WISE, WISE, WISE, WISE
Instrument
Color Assignment
Blue, Cyan, Green, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Near-IR, Near-IR, Mid-IR, Mid-IR
Central Wavelength
3400, 4600, 12000, 22000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
204.2535162, -29.8655453
Reference Dimension
1800.0, 1800.0
Reference Pixel
901.0, 901.0
Scale
-0.000381498, 0.00038149823
Rotation
-22.28
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
WCS retrieved using CXCs PinpointWCS
Creator (Curator)
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
URL
http://wise.astro.ucla.edu
Name
Email
outreach@ssl.berkeley.edu
Telephone
Address
7 Gauss Way
City
Berkeley
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
94720
Country
USA
Rights
Pulic Domain
Publisher
Publisher ID
WISE
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/WISE/WISE2010-022
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2011-08-05
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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Universescalefull
4,600,000 light years