M104, also known as The Sombrero Galaxy, lies in the constellation Virgo at a distance of approximately 29 million light years. The galaxy has a very large central bulge and a prominent dust band that extends around the circumstance of its spiral disk. A very large, and massive, halo surrounds M104. This feature is more indicative of an elliptical galaxy than a typical spiral galaxy. Studies based on observations made using the Hubble Space Telescope and the Canada-French-Hawaii Telescope have determined a super massive black hole resides in M104’s core. This massive black hole is estimated to have a total mass of approximately 1 billion times that of our Sun.
This image was assembled with data obtained from the Hubble Legacy Archive. It is a mosaic of 6 separate ACS (Advanced Camera for Serveys) panels. Three wide band filtered images were used for the red, green and blue channels. These were imaged using filters of f625w for the red, f555w for green and f435w for blue. The color image was created as a standard R-G-B image. The final mosaic image is quite large with a resolution of 10629 X 7655 pixels. A 50% reduced, high resolution, version may be viewed here.
1Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and obtained from the Hubble Legacy Archive, which is a collaboration between the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI/NASA), the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF/ESA) and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC/NRC/CSA).