The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared Light

NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope joined forces to create this striking composite image of one of the most popular sights in the universe. Messier 104 is commonly known as the Sombrero galaxy because in visible light, it resembles the broad-brimmed Mexican hat. However, in Spitzer's striking infrared view, the galaxy looks more like a "bull's eye."

Spitzer's full view shows the disk is warped, which is often the result of a gravitational encounter with another galaxy, and clumpy areas spotted in the far edges of the ring indicate young star-forming regions.

The Sombrero galaxy is located some 28 million light-years away. Viewed from Earth, it is just six degrees south of its equatorial plane. Spitzer detected infrared emission not only from the ring, but from the center of the galaxy too, where there is a huge black hole, believed to be a billion times more massive than our Sun.

The Spitzer picture is composed of four images taken at 3.6 (blue), 4.5 (green), 5.8 (orange), and 8.0 (red) microns. The contribution from starlight (measured at 3.6 microns) has been subtracted from the 5.8 and 8-micron images to enhance the visibility of the dust features.

Credit:

NASA/JPL-Caltech and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo0328b
Type:Collage
Release date:2 October 2003, 06:00
Size:3000 x 1681 px

About the Object

Name:M 104, NGC 4594, Sombrero Galaxy
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
Distance:35 million light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
435 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
Near-IR
3.6 μm Spitzer Space Telescope
IRAC
Infrared
Near-IR
8.0 μm Spitzer Space Telescope
IRAC

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.2 MB
Screensize JPEG
113.2 KB

Wallpapers

1024x768
211.2 KB
1280x1024
346.6 KB
1600x1200
506.7 KB

Also see our