Spitzer and Hubble View of the Sombrero Galaxy

Spitzer_ssc2005-11a1_1024

spitzer_ssc2005-11a1 May 4th, 2005

Credit: Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Kennicutt (University of Arizona) and the SINGS Team

NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes joined forces to create this striking composite image of one of the most popular sights in the universe. Messier 104 is commonly known as the Sombrero galaxy because in visible light, it resembles the broad-brimmed Mexican hat. However, in Spitzer's striking infrared view, the galaxy looks more like a "bull's eye."

In Hubble's visible light image, only the near rim of dust can be clearly seen in silhouette. Recent observations using Spitzer's infrared array camera uncovered the bright, smooth ring of dust circling the galaxy, seen in red. Spitzer's infrared view of the starlight, piercing through the obscuring dust, is easily seen, along with the bulge of stars and an otherwise hidden disk of stars within the dust ring.

Spitzer's full view shows the disk is warped, which is often the result of a gravitational encounter with another galaxy, and clumpy areas spotted in the far edges of the ring indicate young star-forming regions.

The Sombrero galaxy is located some 28 million light-years away. Viewed from Earth, it is just six degrees south of its equatorial plane. 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. This magnificent galaxy has a diameter that is nearly one-fifth the diameter of the full Moon.

This magnificent galaxy has a diameter that is nearly one-fifth the diameter of the full Moon.

Image Source: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/1421-ssc2005-11a1-Spitzer-and-Hubble-View-of-the-Sombrero-Galaxy

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Sombrero Galaxy Messier 104 M104 NGC 4594
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy > Type > Elliptical
Galaxy > Type > Lenticular
Galaxy > Component > Ring
Galaxy > Type > Ring

Distance

Universescale2
28,000,000 light years
Spitzer_ssc2005-11a1_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 12h 39m 45.9s
DEC = -11° 35’ 13.1”
Orientation
North is 5.1° CW
Field of View
9.6 x 5.4 arcminutes
Constellation
Virgo

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Hubble (ACS) Optical (B-band) 435.0 nm
Arrow_left_cyan Hubble (ACS) Optical (R-band) 555.0 nm
Arrow_left_green Spitzer (IRAC) Infrared (Near-IR) 3.6 µm
Arrow_left_red Spitzer (IRAC) Infrared (Mid-IR) 8.0 µm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_cyan
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Spitzer_ssc2005-11a1_1280
×
ID
ssc2005-11a1
Subject Category
C.5.1.4.   C.5.1.3.   C.5.4.5.   C.5.1.5.  
Subject Name
Sombrero Galaxy, Messier 104, M104, NGC 4594
Credits
Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Kennicutt (University of Arizona) and the SINGS Team
Release Date
2005-05-04
Lightyears
28,000,000
Redshift
0.003416
Reference Url
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/1421-ssc2005-11a1-Spitzer-and-Hubble-View-of-the-Sombrero-Galaxy
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Distance from fast facts. Redshift from NED, 2008/11/12
Facility
Hubble, Hubble, Spitzer, Spitzer
Instrument
ACS, ACS, IRAC, IRAC
Color Assignment
Blue, Cyan, Green, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
B-band, R-band, Near-IR, Mid-IR
Central Wavelength
435, 555, 3600, 8000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
189.941259706, -11.5869704984
Reference Dimension
3000, 1681
Reference Pixel
2587.89355469, 1425.447177887
Scale
-5.3083114895765E-05, 5.3083114895765E-05
Rotation
-5.0978925445378
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Spitzer Space Telescope
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy
Publisher
Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
ssc2005-11a1.tif
Metadata Date
2012-03-22
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
28,000,000 light years