Monday, May 15, 2017

The Sombrero Galaxy

Summer-like weather is here again in Indiana. The nights are warm (it was 72 degrees when I took this image), but the summer haze layer is starting to appear. Skies were 2nd or 3rd magnitude and seeing was rather poor (but a little better than during my last imaging session). This is a stack of 10 x 25 second images taken with the 14 inch with the DS16C and 2x focal reducer. The focal reducer is not a good match for this configuration and there was significant vignetting, so this image is cropped. The software was also glitching and kept crashing when I attempted autocapture--hence I was able to get only a few images.

The Sombrero seems to be a giant elliptical galaxy that we see almost edge-on. The extremely bright nucleus is clearly visible, but the large halo is lost in skyglow. As in all galaxies, the Sombrero has a central Black Hole (in this case, with the mass of  one billion suns, which was discovered in the 1990s.

Here's the image annotated from

And here are two more pictures--an image enhanced by and the Galax data overlay: