This image of the spiral galaxy Messier 83 was taken by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer on June 7, 2003. Located 15 million light years from Earth and known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, Messier 83 displays significant amounts of ultraviolet emissions far from the optically bright portion of the galaxy. It is also known to have an extended hydrogen disc that appears to radiate a faint ultraviolet emission. The red stars in the foreground of the image are Milky Way stars.
The Galaxy Evolution Explorer mission is led by the California Institute of Technology, which is also responsible for the science operations and data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., a division of Caltech, manages the mission and built the science instrument. The mission was developed under NASA's Explorers Program, managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The mission's international partners include South Korea and France.