M104: The Sombrero Galaxy
Image Credit & Copyright:
Bray Falls

Explanation: A gorgeous spiral galaxy, M104 is famous for its nearly edge-on profile featuring a broad ring of obscuring dust lanes. Seen in silhouette against an extensive central bulge of stars, the swath of cosmic dust lends a broad brimmed hat-like appearance to the galaxy suggesting a more popular moniker, the Sombrero Galaxy. This sharp optical view of the well-known galaxy made from ground-based image data was processed to preserve details often lost in overwhelming glare of M104’s bright central bulge. Also known as NGC 4594, the Sombrero galaxy can be seen across the spectrum, and is host to a central supermassive black hole. About 50,000 light-years across and 28 million light-years away, M104 is one of the largest galaxies at the southern edge of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster. Still the colorful spiky foreground stars in this field of view lie well within our own Milky Way galaxy.

Tomorrow’s picture: over the cliff


Bray Falls

说明: 壮丽的螺旋星系M104,是以它几乎侧向的宽广圈状黝黑尘埃带著称。而在鼓胀星系核心明亮恒星的衬托下,这道黝黑的宇宙尘埃带,让星系看似戴着宽边帽,因而让它博得草帽星系的雅号。上面这幅此著名星系的可见光影像,建构自地面影像数据建构并经过特别处理,以保存通常因M104星系明亮核心炫光而不得见的细部结构。亦名为NGC 4594的草帽星系,因星系核藏有超大质量黑洞,故在所有电磁波段都可见。离我们约2千8百万光年远的M104 ,宽约50,000光年,是室女座星系团南缘最大的星系之一。不过视野里带星芒的恒星,则是近在我们银河系之内的前景天体。

明日的图片: over the cliff