Hubble Image of the Sombrero Galaxy
Ssc2005 11a2

Credit: NASA/Hubble Space Telescope/Hubble Heritage Team

Observation • May 4th, 2005 • ssc2005-11a2


The Hubble Space Telescopes obtained this image of one of the most popular sights in the universe. Messier 104 is commonly known as the Sombrero galaxy because in visible light, it resembles the broad-brimmed Mexican hat. In Hubble's visible light image, only the near rim of dust can be clearly seen in silhouette.

The Sombrero galaxy is located some 28 million light-years away. Viewed from Earth, it is just six degrees south of its equatorial plane.

The Hubble Heritage Team took these observations in May-June 2003 with the space telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys. Images were taken in three filters (red, green, and blue) to yield a natural-color image. The team took six pictures of the galaxy and then stitched them together to create the final composite image. This magnificent galaxy has a diameter that is nearly one-fifth the diameter of the full Moon.

About the Object

Sombrero GalaxyMessier 104M104NGC 4594
Galaxy > Type > Elliptical
Galaxy > Type > Lenticular
Galaxy > Component > Ring
Galaxy > Type > Ring
28,000,000 Light Years

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Optical 435 nm Hubble ACS
Optical 555 nm Hubble ACS
Optical 625 nm Hubble ACS


Position (J2000)
RA =12h 39m 59.5s
Dec = -11° 37' 22.6"
Field of View
9.6 x 5.4 arcminutes
North is 4.6° left of vertical