February 23, 1998
Explanation: What's going on in the centre of this spiral galaxy? Named the Sombrero Galaxy for its hat-like resemblance, M104 features a prominent dust lane and a bright halo of stars and globular clusters. Something truly energetic is going on in the Sombrero's centre, as it not only appears bright in visible light, but glows prodigiously in X-ray light as well. This X-ray emission coupled with unusually high central stellar speeds cause many astronomers to speculate that a black hole lies at the Sombrero's centre - a black hole possibly a billion times the mass of our Sun.
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.