M83 was discovered in 1752 by Lacaille. An unusually large number of supernovae have been observed in M83 in recent years.
HOW TO FIND IT:
Between Beta Centuri and Gamma Hydra, there is a set of 4 stars -- designated h, k, g and l. Draw a line from g, through l and continue at least twice that distance. You will have to pass NGC 5253, another galaxy, which many beginners will not be able to see.
I have been told that M83 can be a challenge for those living in the northern latitudes.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
You should be able to see this through a pair of binoculars.
Through a telescope, look for a bright nucleus surrounded by a haze. See if you can detect any hint of the spiral arms. With an 8 inch reflector or better, you stand a good chance.