M 104

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Observation place

New Mexico


TelescopeTakahashi Epsilon 250 - 10 ″, 850mm FL @ f / 3.4
MountParamount ME
Imaging cameraSBIG ST10XME - Non Anti Bloomin Gate (NABG) regulated at -15o Celsius
Image typeL (RGB) (Vs for synghetic green)
ExhibitionLuminance (12 x 10 'bin 1 × 1), R and B (4 x 3' bin 2 × 2 each)
PretreatmentMaxim DL
TreatmentPhotoshop and PixInsight
Specific treatmentCreate a synthetic green image

Object description

Object typeElliptical galaxy "the Sombrero Galaxy"
ConstellationThe Virgin
Visual magnitude8
Distance42,4 million light years
Diameter100000 light years
Dimension seen from Earth8 ′ 54 x 4 ′ 6 arc seconds
M104 is nicknamed the Sombrero Galaxy, by its resemblance to a Mexican hat. It also looks like a flying saucer. It is one of the best known galaxies. Its diameter of 100000 light-years is comparable to that of our Galaxy. It has a very bright core, made up of old stars and very partially masked by fine dust. In 2012, its observation by the Spitzer space telescope made it possible to highlight that its halo is more massive than believed and is in fact of the giant elliptical type and not spiral.

Several images of this galaxy do not allow us to see the dust furrows up to the bright central region. In my image, we can distinguish them and the heart of the galaxy is not overexposed. It must be said that I spent a lot of time and techniques to process this image. Also, this small-dimension galaxy seen from the earth (it is 42,4 million light years from us) is near the horizon if we look at it from Quebec. It has a maximum height of around 30o above it, which adds to the difficulty of photographing this galaxy with a long exposure time. Also, it is very difficult to obtain a good resolution (sharpness) due to the importance of the atmosphere and the air turbulence near the horizon. I got around these issues by using a telescope in New Mexico, which allowed me to image between 32 and 45 degrees above the horizon, in a site with no light pollution.     
Richard Beauregard
Sky Astro - CCD
My impression "We cannot be alone in this gigantic universe"