M104, also known as the Sombrero Galaxy, is noteworthy for its circumferential dust lane, made more visible by its nearly edge-on orientation.  It's a large galaxy, with a black hole at the center.

Here's a color image made with a CCD and color filters.

Figure 1.  M101 is 5.8 'arc across in this color picture with a field of view of 42.2 x 28.3 'arc (northeast is upper-left).  The white stars are saturated, which masks their true color.  [Meade 10-inch LX200 SCT f/6.3, focal reducer lens f/4.7, True Tech color filter wheel, SBIG ST-8XE CCD; LRGB exposure totals of 6.5, 3.5, 4 and 6.5 minutes, unguided 30-sec individual exposures, MaxIm DL's unsharp mask (Kernel low pass more) averaged with Kernel (high pass more), 2003.03.05/06, Hereford, AZ residence].

This galaxy is estimated to contain 10 trillion stars, and is located 50 million light years away.

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This site opened:  March 6, 2003 Last Update:  March 6, 2003