The Sombrero Galaxy by Rune Matthijssens

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Sombrero Galaxy by Rune Matthijssens

The Sombrero Galaxy by Rune Matthijssens via Instagram

The Sombrero Galaxy (also known as Messier Object 104, M104 or NGC 4594) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation borders of Virgo and Corvus, being about 9.55 megaparsecs (31.1 million light-years) from our galaxy, within the local supercluster. It has a diameter of approximately 15 kiloparsecs (49,000 light-years), 0.3x times the size of the Milky Way. It has a bright nucleus, an unusually large central bulge, and a prominent dust lane in its outer disk, which is viewed almost edge-on. The dark dust lane and the bulge give this galaxy the appearance of a sombrero hat.

Astronomers initially thought that the halo was small and light, indicative of a spiral galaxy, but the Spitzer Space Telescope found that the dust ring around the Sombrero Galaxy is larger and more massive than previously thought, indicative of a giant elliptical galaxy.

The galaxy has an apparent magnitude of +8.0, making it easily visible with amateur telescopes, and it is considered by some authors to be the galaxy with the highest absolute magnitude within a radius of 10 megaparsecs of the Milky Way. Its large bulge, its central supermassive black hole, and its dust lane all attract the attention of professional astronomers.

Edited in DSS,GIMP and Affinity.

The Sombrero Galaxy by Rune Matthijssens