M104 = NGC4594 (12h 40.0m -1137, 8.3 mag. )

Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo (near Corvus border) was discovered by Mechain in May 1781. Messier added it to his copy of Catalogue already published in 1784 edition of Connaisance des Temps almanac (his notes on that particular copy included also objects now called M105 through M109).

This awesome edge-on spiral galaxy displays prominent dust lane marking its equatorial plane. Studies of its spectrum led to the discovery of the redshift as well as for the first time demonstrated rotation of an external galaxy. M104 is located about 65 million ly away and measures 130,000 ly across. It can be detected in binoculars 530' NNE of d Corvi (see finder chart below).

The above image was taken on April 14, 1999 from Sooke, BC. Cookbook 245 LDC CCD camera was used on Celestron Ultima 8 f6.3 telescope autoguided with Cookbook 211 LDC CCD camera on piggybacked 500mm f8 telephoto lens. Six white exposures (240 sec. each) were combined with cyan, magenta and yellow-filtered integrations (3 x 240 sec. each) with AIP4WIN. Color image was then adjusted in Lab color space using Corel PhotoPaint 8.

North is to the right.

Map created in Guide 7.0 - 745' x 745'. North is up.

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Jan Wisniewski