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Sombrero Galaxy

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Sombrero Galaxy:
A Great Observatories View


linked-imageCredit: X-ray: NASA/UMass/Q.D.Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/AURA/Hubble Heritage; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. AZ/R.Kennicutt/SINGS Team



The Sombrero, also known as M104, is one of the largest galaxies in the nearby Virgo cluster, about 28 million light years from Earth. This Great Observatories view of the famous Sombrero galaxy was made using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope. The main figure shows the combined image from the three telescopes, while the three inset images show the separate observatory views.

The Chandra X-ray image (in blue) shows hot gas in the galaxy and point sources that are a mixture of objects within the Sombrero as well as quasars in the background. The Chandra observations show that diffuse X-ray emission extends over 60,000 light years from the center of the Sombrero. (The galaxy itself spans 50,000 light years across.) Scientists think this extended X-ray glow may be the result of a wind from the galaxy, primarily being driven by supernovas that have exploded within its bulge and disk. The Hubble optical image (green) shows a bulge of starlight partially blocked by a rim of dust, as this spiral galaxy is being observed edge on. That same rim of dust appears bright in Spitzer's infrared image, which also reveals that Sombrero's central bulge of stars.


Source: Chandra - Photo Album

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More Images of Sombrero Galaxy


linked-image
Chandra X-ray Image of the Sombrero Galaxy
The Sombrero galaxy lies at the southern edge of the Virgo cluster of galaxies and is one of the most massive objects in that group, equivalent to about 800 billion suns. This Chandra X-ray image of Sombrero (a.k.a. M104) shows hot gas in the galaxy and point sources that are a mixture of galaxy members and background objects. In this image, Chandra low energy X-rays (0.3-1.5 keV) are color-coded orange and high energy X-rays (1.5-7.0 keV) are in blue. The Chandra image shows hot gas in the Sombrero galaxy and point sources that are a mixture of galaxy members and background objects.
(Credit: NASA/UMass/Q.D.Wang et al.
)

linked-image
Hubble Optical Image of the Sombrero Galaxy
As seen from Earth, the Sombrero galaxy is tilted nearly edge-on. This brilliant galaxy was named the Sombrero because of its resemblance to the broad rim and high-topped Mexican hat. The Hubble optical image shows a bulge of starlight partially blocked by a rim of dust. The Hubble Heritage Team took these observations in May-June 2003 with the space telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys. Images were taken in three filters (red, green, and blue) to yield a natural-color image. The team took six pictures of the galaxy and then stitched them together to create the final composite image. One of the largest Hubble mosaics ever assembled, this magnificent galaxy has an apparent diameter that is nearly one-fifth the diameter of the full moon.
(Credit: NASA/STScI/AURA/Hubble Heritage
)

linked-image
Spitzer Infrared Image of the Sombero Galaxy
The Sombrero galaxy is located some 28 million light-years away. 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/Univ. AZ/R.Kennicutt/SINGS Team)


Source: Chandra - Photo Album

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