Sombrero Galaxy

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Heavy processing but it turned out well. I’ll provide some of the details later but it was taken with a 10″ Richie Crichton scope. Click the image for a panoramic view.

As promised here are some of the details on this image:

I used wavelet filters in a program called Registax and a few other processing tricks to bring out much more detail in the galaxy core and surrounding area. This is the color version which is an LRsGB image (sG = synthetic green). A lot of processing work but well worth it. The telescope used is part of which rents telescopes around the world including the site where these images were taken at Moorook, South Australia.

The processing done on this object is more art than science, however if you take a look at some of the NASA photos of the Sombrero taken with the Hubble Telescope you will see the same major structures in the Hubble image that appear in this image.

Here’s an example of a Hubble Sombrero:


You can see the similarity of the outer ring, the structure at the top outside of the disk and a faint version of the top inner ring.

Here’s a video tour of the Sombrero Galaxy from optical and x-ray and infrared perspectives:


Date: 1-20-08
Object: M104 Sombrero Galaxy
Telescope: RCOS 10″ – FL 1510mm @ F/6 (GRAS-15)
Mount: Paramount ME
Filters: Luminance, Red, Blue
Exposure: Luminance-20 min (5 min subs), Red-10 min (3.3 min subs)bin2x2, Blue-10 min (3.3 min subs)bin2x2
Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CS2, PixInsight, Registax
Location: Moorook, South Australia

If you’re interested in how this image was processed here’s the beginning of an article I wrote on that subject:

CCD Stack –
The luminance images were loaded into CCDStack and calibrated with darks, flats and bias applied. Then an std sigma reject was applied to all images and the rejected pixels were imputed. Then a positive constraint deconvolution was applied with 100 iterations. The images were then registered, normalized and stacked using a sum combine. A DDP adjustment was then applied on the summed image with auto scale and adjustments were made to background, maximum and gamma settings. The image was then saved as a 16 bit .tif file. All of the same functions were applied to the red and blue frames with the exception of deconvolution and the fact that a maximum combine instead of a sum was used for stacking …

If you haven’t been bored silly with what you’ve read so far here’s the link to the rest of the article:

References to the Sombrero Galaxy in Science Fiction:

There is a black-and-white photograph of it in the ending credits of each episode of the original version of The Outer Limits.

On Jack Arnold’s sci-fi 1957 feature film The Incredible Shrinking Man during Grant Williams’ final voice-over, the Sombrero Galaxy is among several images that depict his thoughts on the life ahead of him, and the similarities between the infinitely large and the infinitely small.

In the Diamond Mask by Julian May in 2051 a fictional author who was nearly broke attempted to pay the rent by writing a book called ‘Mustangs of the Sombrero Galaxy’ which was an excruciating flop. It’s too bad; it would have been a hoot to read.

About Richard Murray

I've been interested in astrophotography for some time now and more recently began writing science fiction. Half a million words plus later, I continue to write every day. I share some of the things I learned along the way as well as some of my writing, plus an occasional astrophoto I’ve taken just for fun on my blog site Fictional Astronomer at .
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