Astrophotography by Kent Biggs








  The Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo



The famous Sombrero Galaxy is a stunning example of a near edge-on galaxy.  Its name is derived from its similarity in appearance to the Mexican hat.  Designated as M104 in the Messier catalog, the Sombrero Galaxy is a spiral galaxy whose "arms" are tilted toward us at only six degrees.  Note the intricate detail in the edge of the arms.  Recent very deep images of this galaxy show a halo of more material that extends about 5 times the size of the arms.  I've over-processed my luminance frame to show some of this material (see below).  Also called NGC 4594 in the New General Catalog, its stats are RA: 12h 40m 00.1s, Dec: -11 37' 34", Mag: 9.0 (B), Size: 8.8'x3.5', Class: SA(s)a sp.



Celestron C11 F/10 (2800mm Focal Length)
SBIG ST10XME with Adaptive Optics
LRGB = 180:60:40:80 minutes


March 23-24, 2006
Columbus, Texas
Kent E. Biggs