NGC5236 (M83), SINGG Survey

[M83, NGC5236]

About this image

Gas-rich galaxies display a wide range of structures and properties, but one thing they all seem to have are some newly formed stars. Images from the Survey for Ionization in Neutral Gas Galaxies (SINGG), an NOAO Survey Program (obtained with the CTIO 1.5m telescope), are designed to highlight areas of star formation in gas rich galaxies.

This image shows Messier 83 (M83), one of the brightest spiral galaxies. The disks of these classic galaxies (what one usually thinks of when hearing the word), form when the gas in the system collapses. The spiral pattern is caused by a density wave in the disk which can cause enhanced star formation along the arms to make a grand design spiral. M83 hosts a strong starburst in its nuclear regions which appears white in this image.

The image is displayed so that stars have a cyan-blue appearance, while ionized hydrogen (H-alpha) emission appears orange-red to yellow. The H-alpha emission marks where the gas in the galaxies has been stripped of electrons, and is now recombining. It takes very hot O stars to ionize the gas; these stars have very short lifetimes (a few million years). As a result, red tones in these images typically mark the location of newly formed hot stars.

Gerhardt Meurer of The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, is the principal investigator for SINGG. For more information, see:

More: galaxies page, spiral galaxies page, messier page, surveys page.

Minimum credit line: The SINGG Survey Team and NOAO/AURA/NSF

Downloadable versions:
500 x 500 184 kb color JPEG (on this page)
1000 x 1000 573 kb color JPEG
2000 x 2000 1.25 Mb color JPEG
2000 x 2000 11.46 Mb color TIFF
(see NOAO Conditions of Use)

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