M104 Click Image to Enlarge

M104, aka NGC 4594, and commonly referred to as the “Sombrero Galaxy”, is an unbarred spiral galaxy in Virgo, about 30 million light years distant, and probably 1/3 the size of the Milky Way. It is quite bright, and should be visible with 7×35 binoculars. The “sombrero” portion is sandwiched in a bright halo, which might be more consistent with a large elliptical galaxy(?). The nucleus is thought to contain a supermassive black hole, and the galaxy itself also has a large number of globular clusters.

For those who remember the 1960’s TV show “The Outer limits”, an image of M104 was in the ending credits.

Technical details are as follows:

16″ RCOS at f/11.3, Apogee U9, SBIG 402 guider, Astrodon LRGB with 3.5 hrs lum, 3 hrs/channel RGB, processed in PixInsight and Photoshop.

The data was acquired in Chile at CTIO during April/May 2009.