Sombrero Galaxy (M 104)


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About this Image

This brilliant galaxy was named the Sombrero Galaxy because of its visual appearance. We view it from just 6 degrees south of its equatorial plane, which is outlined by a rather thick dark rim of obscuring dust. The dust lane was probably the first discovered by William Herschel in his great reflector.

The galaxy situated at a distance of 50 million light years is of type Sa-Sb, with both a big bright core, and as one can see in shorter exposures, also well-defined spiral arms. It also has an unusually pronounced bulge with an extended and richly populated globular cluster system - several hundred can be counted in long exposures from big telescopes.

Recent very deep photographs from the Anglo-Australian Observatory show that this galaxy has a very extended faint halo.
North is up;

M 104 faint halo: 1.
Hubble Space Telescope images and text: 2.

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Technical Details


20 " Keller cassegrain in corrected secondary focus at f/9

Mount Liebscher GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -25C, 8-pos STL filter wheel
Filters Baader LRGB
Date Apr 29 / May 01, 2008
Location IAS/Hakos Namibia
Sky Conditions dark skies, raw FWHM 1.5-1.9" temperature 15 C,
Exposure C:L:R:G:B = 60:120:30:30:30 minutes (15-minute sub-exposures);
all 1x1.
Programs used Maxim DL 4.5;
Photoshop CS3