Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer images of the Sombrero Galaxy
Credit: X-ray: NASA/UMass/Q.D.Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/AURA/Hubble Heritage; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. AZ/R.Kennicutt/SINGS Team

Hat Tip for the Queen

It's not every day royalty drops in for a visit. In honor of the visit of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh to Goddard, we offer a triple tip of a majestic hat: the "Sombrero Galaxy", also called M104. The Sombrero Galaxy is a nearly edge-on spiral, and the first object added to Messier's famous catalog after its original publication. The image above is a composite of the Sombrero from NASA's "Great Observatories": the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope. To the right of the composite, each image is shown individually for clarity. Each observatory shows astounding details of the galaxy: Chandra the diffuse hot gas permeating the galaxy and just beyond perhaps produced by the combined efforts of thousands of supernovae; Hubble the stellar light and dark dust lanes; and Spitzer the bright warm dust and sites of star formation.

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Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:25:30 EDT

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