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Messier 104 "the Sombrero"

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About this observation
Observer
Paul Downing
Time of observation
09/05/2014 - 08:41
Object
Sombrero Galaxy
Observing location
Southern Spain
Equipment
QSI 683
Exposure
160 minutes
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Messier 104 also called the Sombrero galaxy, is in Virgo. It is 30 million light years distant, has a diameter of 75,000 light years and is sixteen times brighter than our galaxy. This image was taken at Paul's observatory in Spain on 2014-04-30 and is an LRGB of 80:40:40:40 minutes, imaged using a QSI 683 CCD camera on a 12.5 inch Planewave telescope.  One interesting feature of M104 is the large number of associated globular clusters surrounding the galaxy, a number of which can be seen in the image.

Secondary Note: There are those who would question the distance numbers quoted above, and perhaps with good cause.  It is amazing that, even though our knowledge is so much more extensive than once it was, and even though we are now able to peer ever deeper into space and are able to detect events at the edge of the observable universe, there is still a reasonable degree of uncertainty about how far away some of these objects are.

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