Messier 104 - The Sombrero Galaxy

Minsex: The infrared vision of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed that the Sombrero galaxy -- named after its appearance in visible light to a wide-brimmed hat -- is in fact two galaxies in one. It is a largeelliptical galaxy (blue-green) with a thin disk galaxy (partly seen in red) embedded within.Previous  visible-light images led astronomers to believe the Sombrero was simply a regular flat disk galaxy. Spitzer's infrared view highlights the stars and dust. The starlight detected at 3.5 and 4.6 microns is represented in blue-green while the dust detected at 8.0 microns appears red. This image allowedastronomers to sample the full population of stars in the galaxy, in addition to its structure. The flat disk within the galaxy is made up of two portions. The inner disk is composed almost entirely ofstars, with no dust. Beyond this is a slight gap, then an outer ring of intermingled dust and stars, seen here in red. Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech, Source: Minsex

comments powered by Disqus