Best of AOP - Galaxies

M104 (Sombrero)

The Sombrero Galaxy is one of many showpieces of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. Even at a distance of 40 million light years its beauty and mystery are not diminished. The Sombrero illustrates how incredibly thin the disks of spiral galaxies are. In this case the galaxy is inclined from our perspective by a mere 6 degrees. The extended halo which surrounds the galaxy is where orbiting globular star clusters are found (just like in the Milky Way). Other examples of edge-on spiral galaxies include NGC 891 and NGC 4565.

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Last Updated: 24-Feb-2014

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About This Image

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20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.1

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

Two iterations of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp were applied to the luminance image.

Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the very dim and very bright details of

the image simultaneously.

Luminance = 70 minutes binned 1x1

Red = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 30 minutes binned 2x2

Minimum credit line: Morris Wade/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF