M104 - Sombrero Galaxy

M104 - Sombrero Galaxy: This is a bright, unbarred, spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo. The prominent bulge and dust ring give the galaxy the appearance of a large, Mexican hat, thus the Sombraro name.

Messier: 104
NGC: 4594
Right Ascension: 12h 40m
Declination: -11° 37.3'
Apparent Magnitude: 9.0

Date: June 2010
Equipment:
Telescope: Meade 10" f 6.3 LX200 Schmidt Cassegrain
Camera: SBIG ST-10XE
Guiding: AO-8

Exposure: Luminance: 7x3 minutes binned 2x2.
Processing Notes: Data acquisition in CCDSoft. Image reduction and alignment in CCDStack. Subframes combined in Sigma Beta. Arcsine stretch import of FIT file into Photoshop. Levels and curves.
Scale: ~1.05"/pixel

Links to images of this object on other sites:
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060115.html
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap070505.html
http://www.pbase.com/gregbradley/image/123997685

Additional Comments: The camera at the Fort Lewis Observatory is typically installed "upside down" to allow for greater clearance with the LX200 fork mount. This is one of the objects that got "turned over" because it is so recognizable in this orientation. This is also one of the first images using both the AO-8 "adaptive" guider attached to the ST-10XE, and a water cooling pump to chill the camera to -35°C. Data acquisition by Pete Samuelson, processing by Charles Hakes. A previous FLC version of this image is here: http://www.fortlewis.edu/observatory/image_detail.asp?ID=97

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