Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Sombrero Galaxy from HST

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The Sombrero Galaxy from HST

Why does the Sombrero Galaxy look like a hat?

Reasons include the
Sombrero's unusually large and extended central bulge of stars,
and dark prominent dust lanes
that appear in a disk that we see nearly

Billions of old stars
cause the diffuse glow of the extended central bulge.

Close inspection of the bulge in the
photograph shows many points of light that are actually
globular clusters.

M104's spectacular
dust rings harbor many younger
and brighter stars, and show intricate details astronomers
don't yet fully understand.

The very center of the
Sombrero glows across the electromagnetic spectrum, and is thought to house a large
black hole.

Fifty million-year-old light from the
Sombrero Galaxy can be seen with a
small telescope towards the constellation of Virgo.

News: Stardust Returns to Earth

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