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M104, also known as the Sombrero Galaxy, is an unbarred spiral galaxy seen almost edge-on in the direction of the Constellation Virgo at a distance of 28-30 Million Light-Years. M104 has an extremely bright nucleus and a very large central bulge which extends the length of the galaxy disk. A dark dust lane containing most of the gas and dust traverses the girth, and together with the bright bulge lends it the name "Sombrero Galaxy" as seen through a telescope eyepiece. There is a supermassive black hole at least a billion times the mass of our sun in the core. The nucleua area seems devoid of any significant star forming regions. Another significant feature of M104 is its numerous globular clusters of old stars spread fairly evenly throughout the large halo, and the number of these clusters is thought to be related to the size of the bulge. Object: M104 (Sombrero Galaxy) Distance: 28-30 Million Light-years Magnitude: 8.98 Date: May 2009 Place: Fort Davis, TX Exposure Details: LRGB:6.2:2:2:2 hours unbinned Processing: MaxIm DL, CCDStack, Photoshop CS3 Optics: 12.5" RCOS Truss Focal Length: 2808mm @ f9 Mount: Paramount ME Camera: SBIG STL303E Focuser: RCOS Guiding: Off-Axis with SBIG Guide Camera Filters: Tru-Balance Gen II LRGB 2

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