Sombrero galaxy, also known as M104, is one of the largest galaxies in the Virgo cluster, about 28 million light years from Earth. The Chandra X-ray image (in blue) shows hot gas in the galaxy and point sources that are a mixture of objects within the Sombrero, as well as quasars in the background. The Chandra observations show that diffuse X-ray emission extends over 60,000 light years from the center of the Sombrero. (The galaxy itself spans 50,000 light years across.) Scientists think this extended X-ray glow may be the result of a wind from the galaxy, primarily being driven by supernovas that have exploded within its bulge and disk. The Hubble optical image (green) shows a bulge of starlight partially blocked by a rim of dust, as this spiral galaxy is being observed edge on. That same rim of dust appears bright in Spitzer's infrared image, which also reveals the Sombrero's central bulge of stars.

Image: NASA.

Read more about the Sombrero galaxy and about this particular image.

As long as you send images to me (and I hope it will be for forever), I shall continue to share them with my readership. My purpose for posting these images is to remind all of us of the grandeur of the natural world and that there is a world out there that is populated by millions of unique species. We are a part of this world whether we like it or not: we have a choice to either preserve these species or to destroy them in search of short-term monetary gains. But if we decide to destroy these other life forms, the least we can do is to know what we are destroying by learning that they exist. If you have a high-resolution digitized nature image (I prefer JPG format) that you'd like to share with your fellow readers, feel free to email it to me, along with information about the image and how you'd like it to be credited.


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The pictures are just beautiful!

By Diane in Ohio (not verified) on 08 May 2007 #permalink

I suspect the spots in the X-ray photo mark the locations of globular clusters scattered around the halo of the galaxy, since they show up in visible light in a similar arrangement. Nice pgoto, indeed, Hedwig. Run a galaxy photo once in a while, I shall remain a contented reader indeed. Galaxy photos are sublime.

By biosparite (not verified) on 08 May 2007 #permalink