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Messier 104 – The Sombrero Galaxy - Lenticular Galaxy

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#1 Terry R

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 04:01 AM

This would have to be an object on many astrophotographers bucket list.  I remember looking back at some textbooks from my university days and seeing M104.  Sure it was black and white, but it was so very cool.  Skip ahead in time, now, very modest instruments allow us to present incredible renditions of this and many other amazing objects.

This is where imagination takes hold and things become skewed.  I know this is all wrong, but when I look at this object it almost appears like a very bright light source is held captive, surrounded by large chunks of matter blocking its light and casting shadows into space.  Yep, imagination can certainly conger up fascinating stuff.  But slowly, reality takes over and you that there is no way that rocks that large are patrolling the outskirts of this wonderful galaxy.   tongue2.gif

  
The Sombrero Galaxy has an incredible halo extending well beyond the frame of the image.  It has to my eye, a slightly brownish tint to it.   Several galaxies further away can be seen through the halo, but they are very small and this is where a large instrument with serious image scale would be a wonderful treat.

The Sombrero Galaxy, Messier 104, NGC 4594 is a lenticular galaxy found in the constellation Virgo.  It’s about a third of the size of our galaxy sporting an unusually large central bulge.  One of the most striking features is the prominent dust lane in its inclined disk.  This feature resembles a sombrero hat.  The dust lane is a symmetrical ring that encloses the bulge of the galaxy.  Where it crosses in front of the bulge, we can see the brightness of the galaxy extinguish, and the dark belt is revealed.  The ring might also contain most of the cold matter in the Sombrero Galaxy.

At the core, it is believed that one of the most massive black holes measured in any nearby galaxies resides.   

Some astronomers consider this galaxy to have the highest absolute magnitude within a radius of 10 megaparsecs of the Milky Way.  Visually, this allows a simple set of binoculars to be used allowing the observer to just reveal its presence.   Moving up in aperture, a 200 mm will allow you to distinguish the bulge from the disk.   From there, 250-300 mm will reveal the dark lane.

Of course, photographically every changes.  This image was obtained using a modest 250 mm instrument, and monochromatic camera.   If you had eyes the size of dinner plates and didn’t blink for a day, your friends might think you look like a freak, but hey, could you see it?  There’s that imagination again…. Apologies.

 

Instruments Used:

  • 10 Inch RCOS fl 9.1
  • Astro Physics AP-900 Mount
  • SBIG STL 11000m
  • FLI Filter Wheel
  • Astrodon Lum, Red, Green, Blue Filters
  • Baader Planetarium H-alpha 7nm Narrowband-Filter

 

Image Details:

  • Lum  33 X 900 seconds
  • Ha  22 X 900 seconds
  • Blue   11 X 900 seconds
  • Green  10 X 900 seconds
  • Red  17 X 900 seconds
  • Total Time: 23.24 Hours

Astrobin link:

get.jpg?insecure

 

Flickr link:

46971937195_1194226e10_z.jpg

 

Thanks for looking.


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#2 Tapio

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 04:08 AM

Excellent image (and processing).



#3 Terry R

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 04:22 AM

Many thanks Tapio



#4 pyrasanth

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 05:16 AM

That's a really beautiful image. well done. The processing is outstanding. I think M104 might be a bit low for my latitude of 52 North except for a few weeks each year when the weather is normally not good each time I've tried to grab a frame or 2.



#5 Pete_xl

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 05:56 AM

Congratulations! You did a very! fine job - technically & artistically - on that wonderful galaxy!



#6 astrovienna

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 06:27 AM

Wow.  I do not know what to say.  Your galaxy work is really first rate, Terry.  Lately I think of this galaxy as a very highly concentrated elliptical surrounded by one of those frisbee rings. 

 

Kevin



#7 John Miele

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 06:53 AM

Wow oh wow oh wow!!!! There have been some killer M104 images posted lately, but I think this has the most detail in the dust lanes I have seen yet. Absolutely fantastic image! I have been striving for something like this for years, but so far have not even remotely approached what you pulled out here...bow.gif bow.gifbow.gif  ...John



#8 Terry R

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 06:57 AM

That's a really beautiful image. well done. The processing is outstanding. I think M104 might be a bit low for my latitude of 52 North except for a few weeks each year when the weather is normally not good each time I've tried to grab a frame or 2.

Thanks pyrasanth.  I am fortunate that this galaxy is fairly high, that definitely helps

 

Congratulations! You did a very! fine job - technically & artistically - on that wonderful galaxy!

Thank you Pete.   It has a unique look about it for sure.  I guess that's why we see it presented in many places.

 

Wow.  I do not know what to say.  Your galaxy work is really first rate, Terry.  Lately I think of this galaxy as a very highly concentrated elliptical surrounded by one of those frisbee rings. 

 

Kevin

Hi Kevin, thanks.  It's halo is huge, extending well beyond the frame presented.   Small and bright. :)



#9 Terry R

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 07:01 AM

Wow oh wow oh wow!!!! There have been some killer M104 images posted lately, but I think this has the most detail in the dust lanes I have seen yet. Absolutely fantastic image! I have been striving for something like this for years, but so far have not even remotely approached what you pulled out here...bow.gif bow.gifbow.gif  ...John

Thanks John.  I did spend time in that area for sure. I had almost 80 subs, and in the end, I threw away more than half in an effort to reveal as much detail as I could without introducing noise with the reduced data set.  



#10 DaveB

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 08:18 AM

Awesome image!

 

I have one question - I notice that you took quite a bit of Ha images. Is there really Ha signal there, or is that a technique that you use in general?



#11 elmiko

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 08:47 AM

Another spectacular image Terry!  You even captured the spiral details! Thanks for sharing.

Mike


Edited by elmiko, 20 May 2019 - 08:48 AM.


#12 alvarete

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 08:48 AM

Very very good

#13 Astroman007

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 09:36 AM

Wow! Just beautiful. So sharp and clear, such detail in the "hat's brim" too.



#14 Terry R

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 04:52 PM

Awesome image!

 

I have one question - I notice that you took quite a bit of Ha images. Is there really Ha signal there, or is that a technique that you use in general?

Fair question.  I have included what the Ha look like out of the camera.  

 

Ha-22-Subs.jpg

 

The moon was up at the time so why not smile.gif  

 

It was interesting to look at, the core is very bright, and the outer belt has nothing in the Ha region.  It looks like the old black and white images I remember looking at.


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#15 Terry R

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 04:54 PM

Another spectacular image Terry!  You even captured the spiral details! Thanks for sharing.

Mike

There are some very subtle details in there if you dig around.  Thanks Mike

 

Very very good

Cheers alvarete

 

Wow! Just beautiful. So sharp and clear, such detail in the "hat's brim" too.

Thanks Astoman,  A lot of time spent in there.  Cheers


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#16 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 06:52 PM

Wow Terry!  That is a spectacular image with fantastic detail.  Very well done!

 

John



#17 Terry R

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 02:50 AM

Wow Terry!  That is a spectacular image with fantastic detail.  Very well done!

 

John

Thanks John.    It's not a large target, but worth the time.



#18 Michael Deger

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:00 AM

Hi Terry,

 

very good image with fine details.

 

 

All the best

Michael

 

http://galaxyphoto.de



#19 Terry R

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 05:02 AM

Hi Terry,

 

very good image with fine details.

 

 

All the best

Michael

 

http://galaxyphoto.de

Many thanks Michael




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