Sombrero galaxy M104


The well-known "Sombrero" galaxy M104 (NGC 4594) in Virgo. This is an excellent example of the early-type Sa spirals, with tightly-wound spiral arms (in fact, they can be difficult to trace when seen this close to edge-on) and a large-luminous bulge. The dense dust lane in this disk gives the galaxy its common name. M104 has a mildly active nucleus, seen in emission lines and radio emission, and has been discussed as a candidate for hosting a supermassive black hole, based on stellar dynamics in its core. This image is a color composite from BVR exposures with the 0.9-meter telescope of Kitt Peak National Observatory, with the data provided courtesy of T. Boroson. For historical continuity, I'll keep below the old pseudocolor image from the blue-light data alone:


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