Spiral Galaxy M104 (NGC 4594), type Sa, in Virgo

RA 12:40.0 DEC -11:37 ; Distance 50 million (!) light years ; Visual Brightness 8.0m; Apparent Dimension 9x4 arc minutes

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

This galaxy 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.

Source and more: SEDS

My own images are much humbler, however ....

April 20, 2009 22:00 - 23:03 UT.
Imaging: William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO, f/6.8 [focal length 545 mm], Astronomik Lum Filter; ATK16IC camera.
Exposures: Lum 13x300s [1x1]; RGB not captured; all unguided.

April 1, 2006 23:24 - 23:42 UT.
Imaged with LX200 10-inch f/10 telescope with 0.33 Focal Reducer operating at f/4.06 [focal length 1015mm], Vesta Pro-SC3a b/w RAW mode, Baader Infra Red Blocking Filter.
50 autoguided exposures of 20 seconds.

April 27, 2005 21:45 - 22:06 UT.
Imaging: TAL-2M 6-inch f/8 in prime focus [focal length 1200mm], Vesta SC3a b/w RAW webcam, Baader Infra Red Blocking Filter, 13 unguided exposures of 25 seconds.

April 14, 2004 22:42 - 22:55 UT

March 23, 2003 23:55 - 00:24 UT
Reprocessed August 29, 2003.