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Sombrero Galaxy Animations
Click for low-resolution animation
Tour of Sombrero
Quicktime MPEG
We begin with the Hubble Space Telescope's optical light view of the Sombrero galaxy, also known as M104. Sombrerois one of the largest galaxies in the nearby Virgo cluster, about 28 million light years from Earth. Some of the prominent features of the Sombrero, which are highlighted in Hubble's image, include its large bulge of stars in the center and the thick band of dust that appears as the dark lane across the galaxy's mid-section. Like the Milky Way, Sombrero is a spiral galaxy. However, we see Sombrero edge-on from our vantage point from Earth, rather than the face-down perspective that is more familiar. A Great Observatories view of the same Sombrero reveals different aspects of the galaxy. The X-ray image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory shows hot gas in the galaxy that appears as a diffuse glow that extends over 60,000 light years from the Sombrero's center. Also, Chandra detects many point-like sources of X-ray emission that are mostly stars within Sombrero but some are quasars in the distant background. The rim of dust that blocks the starlight in the Hubble image glows brightly in the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared image. Also, the central bulge of stars strongly emits infrared emission detected by Spitzer.
[Runtime: 1:22]
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/UMass/Q.D.Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/AURA/Hubble Heritage; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. AZ/R.Kennicutt/SINGS Team)
Click for high-resolution animation
Great Observatory Views of Sombrero Galaxy
Quicktime MPEG
This is a Great Observatory view of the famous Sombrero galaxy using the Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer telescopes. The first image shows the composite version, followed by the three separate observatory views. The Chandra X-ray image (blue) shows hot gas in the galaxy and point sources that are a mixture of galaxy members and background objects. The Hubble optical image (green) shows a bulge of starlight partially blocked by a rim of dust. The Spitzer image (red) shows the rim of dust glowing in the infrared and a central bulge of stars.
[Runtime: 0:20]
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/UMass/Q.D.Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/AURA/Hubble Heritage; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. AZ/R.Kennicutt/SINGS Team)


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