Sombrero Galaxy (M104, NGC 4594)

Sombrero Galaxy (M104, NGC 4594)

M104. Wedelstein Observatory.

The Sombrero Galaxy (M104, NGC 4594) is a type Sa spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo whose unusually large central bulge, richly populated with several hundred globular clusters, and dark prominent dust lanes give it the appearance of a Mexican hat; we see it from about 6° south of its equatorial plane. Discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781, it became the first galaxy for which a large redshift (equivalent to a recession velocity of about 1,000 kilometers per second) was found, by Vesto Slipher in 1912. It is also the first galaxy in which rotation was detected, again by Slipher. Modern studies have shown the Sombrero to have both a very extended faint halo and a mildly active nucleus indicative of the presence a central supermassive black hole.


visual magnitude 8.0
apparent size 9' × 4'
distance 50,000,000 light-years
position R.A. 12h 40.0m;
Dec. -11° 37'