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Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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Sombrero Galaxy (M104) - Pamela Broene

Sombrero Galaxy

This is the Sombrero Galaxy. The Sombrero Galaxy contains about 20,000 globular star clusters. It is an unbarred spiral galaxy, that can be found 28 million light years away in the constellation Virgo. Some astronomers, during the 19th century, believed that this galaxy was just luminous gas that surrounded a young star. However, in 1912, it was discovered that this "gas and star" were moving away from earth at a speed of 700 miles per second. This gives evidence backing the belief that the universe is expanding in all directions.

The Sombrero Galaxy is named after the mexican hat, which it closely resembles. This galaxy has an extremely bright white bulbous center surrounded by thick dust lanes that make up the spiral structure of this particular galaxy. I have estimated the length from one dust lane to the other dust lane to be about 9 arc minutes. Based on this, the linear size of the Sombrero Galaxy is about 70,000 light years.

References:
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2003/28/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sombrero_galaxy

http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m104.html

Right Ascension (J2000) 12:40:20
Declination (J2000) -11:39:33
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 300 seconds in BVRC

Date observed

March 13, 2006 (R,V)
March 30, 2006 (C)
April 8, 2006 (B)