What's going on in the center of this spiral galaxy?
Named the Sombrero Galaxy for its hat-like resemblance,
features a prominent dust lane and a bright halo of stars and globular
Reasons for the
hat-like appearance include an unusually large and extended central bulge of stars,
and dark prominent dust lanes
that appear in a disk that we see nearly
Billions of old stars
cause the diffuse glow of the extended central bulge
visible in the
above image from the
Close inspection of the
central bulge shows many points of light that are actually
dust rings harbor many younger
and brighter stars, and show intricate details astronomers
don't yet fully understand.
The very center of the
Sombrero glows across the electromagnetic spectrum, and is thought to house a large
Fifty million-year-old light from the
Sombrero Galaxy can be seen with a
small telescope towards the constellation of Virgo.
Credit & Copyright:
Caltech/Palomar Observatory/Paul Gardner,
Salvatore Grasso, and