Sombrero Galaxy Facts

Sombrero Galaxy Facts
One of the most unusual looking barred spiral galaxies visual from the Earth is the Sombrero Galaxy, which is located about 29 million light years from the Milky Way, located in the Virgo constellation. Its diameter is about 50,000 light years. It has a bright nucleus, a large central bulge, with spiral arms threaded through with a thick dust lane. The combination makes it appear like a hat from Mexico. The ring that circles the bulge of the galaxy is the dust lane, rich with gas, dust, a hydrogen gas. The inside of the galaxy contains many sites of star formation because of the many elements found there.
Interesting Sombrero Galaxy Facts:
Astronomers believe it is not part of a formal galaxy group but a string of galaxies that extends away from the Virgo cluster.
About 2,000 globular clusters swarm around the center of the galaxy, and the number is most likely related to the central bulge size.
There is a central supermassive black hole located in the heart of the Sombrero. Observations of this area point to a mass of a billion Suns, and may be the most massive of any black hole found at the heart of a galaxy.
During a clear dark sky, the Sombrero Galaxy can be spotted through binoculars, and using a large telescope, the dust lane can be observed.
The galaxy can be observed in the spring or early summer halfway between the constellation Virgo and Corvus.
The study of the Sombrero in visible and infrared light has been studied using the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope.
The starbirth regions are mostly located and stand out in infrared wavelengths and are mostly along the outer rim of the dust ring.
From the Earth, the Sombrero Galaxy is seen "edge on".
The Sombrero Galaxy is also known as Messier Object 104, M104, and NGC 4594.
The galaxy is about 30% the size of the Milky Way galaxy and has a very bright nucleus.
The Sombrero Galaxy was first discovered in 1781 by Pierre M├ęchain, but not "officially" included in the Messier Catalogue until 1921.
Two other astronomers are also associated with the discovery of the galaxy, Charles Messier and William Herschel.
The dust ring is the primary site of star formation within the Sombrero Galaxy.
The revolution speed of the stars within the center of the galaxy could not be maintained unless a mass 1 billion times the mass of the Sun is maintained.
Black and white photographs of this galaxy are included in the ending credits of each episode of the original version or the TV show, The Outer Limits.


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