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 taken with the 0.6m telescope of the SARA consortium at Cerro Tololo, Chile.

For continuity with earlier versions and to keep links unbroken, here is another BVR image 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 yet older pseudocolor image from the blue-light data alone:

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