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Sombrero Galaxy

M104, NGC 4594

Proper NamesSombrero Galaxy
Messier NumberM104
NGC/IC NumberNGC 4594
ConstellationVirgo
Right Ascension12h 40m 12s
Declination-11° 38' 42"
Distancec.50,000,000 light years
c.15,000,000 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +9.2
Mean DiameterApparent: 6'
Actual: c.90,000 light years
Hubble TypeSpiral class a
Optimum VisibilityApril/May
NotesMost of the gas and dust of the Sombrero Galaxy is contained within a narrow ring or dust lane some 82,000 light years across that surrounds the nucleus and creates the distinctive 'sombrero' appearance. At the centre of this ring, the galaxy's core is host to an immensely massive black hole.

A bright spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo, especially noted for an obscuring band of dust across its central plane.

Location of the Sombrero Galaxy

The Sombrero Galaxy falls within the boundaries of the galaxy-rich constellation of Virgo, but only just. It is a mere 4½ arc minutes from Virgo's border with Corvus.

The Sombrero Galaxy

A view of the Sombrero Galaxy, with the dark equatorial band clearly visible.

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