Resembling a wide-brimmed hat with a tall bulge at the center, galaxy M104 is nicknamed the Sombrero Galaxy. We see the galaxy, 50,000 light-years wide, nearly edge-on, so the dark dust in its pancake-like disk appears to bisect a large, white, rounded core of stars. Roughly 29 million light-years away, the Sombrero can be spotted with a modest telescope in the constellation Virgo.
Production: October 2, 2003
Publication: August 25, 2015