Hot image of the week: M83

Posted by David Eicher
on Monday, May 23, 2011

I remember the first time I saw galaxy M83, a bright, sprawling, face-on barred spiral in Hydra. It was an early summer night in my observing field in Oxford, Ohio, with my Celestron-8 trained way down along the treetops. Yet the galaxy was tantalizingly cool, a big glowing mass of light surrounding a bright core.

Photo credit: Daniel B. Phillips
Only later did I see M83 from a more southerly latitude and fully appreciate what it has to offer. With a large scope in the American Southwest, the galaxy comes alive with well-defined spiral arms, knots, and clumps of star-forming regions peppered throughout, and a rich field of zesty stars across the whole scene. It’s really a galaxy that you should see in a moderate or large scope, if you have not done so.

Daniel B. Phillips shot this fantastic image of the galaxy using a 7.8-inch Takahashi MT 200 scope at f/6 and an SBIG ST10 XME CCD camera. His LRGB image has exposures of 60, 15, 15, and 15 minutes, respectively. He took the shot on May 4, 2008, from Palomar Mountain, California.


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