Messier 104 – The Sombrero Galaxy

The Sombrero Galaxy, one of the more unusual-looking spiral galaxies, owes its name to its resemblance to the Mexican hat of the same name. It has a large central bulge and a bright nucleus, and its spiral arms pass through a thick dust lane, which is the ring encircling the central bulge. The galaxy’s appearance is due to our seeing it “edge on”. The Sombrero Galaxy is classed an an unbarred spiral galaxy and can be found in the constellation of Virgo. Its estimated distance from Earth is 29 million light years. As many as 2000 globular clusters swarm around the core of the Sombrero Galaxy, and the number could be related to the size of the central bulge.

Crop of Messier 104 @ 150%

Messier 104 in the larger FOV

Telescope: 16″ f3.75 Dream Scope
Camera: FLI ML16803
Mount: ASA DDM85
Exposure: 4.5 hours (24x300s L + 3x9x300s RGB)
Date: March 2020
Location: Southern Alps, France

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