M-104 (NGC-4594) spiral galaxy in Virgo
M-104 (NGC-4594) is a large, bright spiral galaxy in Virgo. Commonly called "The Sombrero Galaxy" due to its unusually large central bulge and the dramatic dust lane which bisects it. Because of this large bulge and heavy dust lane, some studies indicate that it might actually be an elliptical galaxy. This is still being studied.
M-104 is part of the Virgo galaxy cluster, and lies 31 million light years from Earth. It is 80,000 light years in diameter. M-104 was discovered in May of 1781 by Messier's assistant Pierre Mechain.
This image, acquired on June 4, 2014, is a 1 hour integration of 5 minute exposures through the Celestron C-11 at f/2, using the HyperStar III imaging system and the Starlight Express SXVR-H694C color CCD camera operating at -10 degrees below ambient temperature and binned 1 X 1. Guided, captured and combined using Maxim DL5 Pro. Post processed using PhotoShop CS2, Gradient XTerminator, StarShrink, Carboni's Astro Tools and NoiseWare.