M 83 (NGC 5236) is also known as
the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy due to its similarity to M 101. It
was discovered by Nicolas Luis de Lacaille in 1752. Charles Messier
added it to his catalog in March of 1781.
M 83 lies approximately 15 million
light years away in the constallation of Hydra, the sea serpent.
It is one of the closest and largest barred spiral galaxy. It is
actually 40 thousand light years in diameter, less than one-half
the diameter of our Milky Way.
Hubble images identified over 300
supernova remnants within it.