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M83: The Thousand-Ruby Galaxy September 28, 2008

Posted by John Tintle (MtO deadbait) in Deep Space, Space Fotos.
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See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.

Color Composite:

Davide De Martin (Skyfactory)

Credit:

European Southern Observatory Science Archive

Explanation:

Big, bright, and beautiful, spiral galaxy M83 lies a mere twelve million light-years away, near the southeastern tip of the very long constellation Hydra. Prominent spiral arms traced by dark dust lanes and blue star clusters lend this galaxy its popular name of the Southern Pinwheel. But reddish star forming regions that dot the sweeping arms highlighted in this sparkling color composite also suggest another nickname, The Thousand-Ruby Galaxy. About 40,000 light-years across, M83 is a member of a group of galaxies that includes active galaxy Centaurus A. The core of M83 itself is bright at x-ray energies, showing a high concentration of neutron stars and black holes left from an intense burst of star formation. The sharp image, based on archival data from the European Southern Observatory’s Wide Field Imager camera, also features spiky foreground Milky Way stars and distant background galaxies.

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Comments

1. BJ Fink - October 23, 2008

Thank you for the amazingly beautiful photo of the Thousand-Ruby Galaxy. I am painting this galaxy from a picture I saw somewhere; I tore out the picture for my model, but it had no name. I went on a search and found the name = M83, but the Thousand-Ruby Galaxy is a much more “artistic” name. I am now going back to add more pink to the painting. Isn’t God’s creation awesome!!
Thanks again,
BJ Fink


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