May 2023

A famous and spectacular edge-on spiral galaxy is in prime view in Southern California skies in the month of May and June.

The SOMBRERO GALAXY (M-104) is in the southern sky located 11.5 degrees from the bright star Spica in Virgo. (see map)

I've found M-104 in suburban skies in my backyard in Thousand oaks if Virgo clears the horizon haze and light pollution glow.

The darker the sky is, the better is the view. I use my 4 inch refractor to detect the oblong glow but a eight inch telescope can see the dark lane that splits the galaxy in half.

The Sombrero Galaxy, also NGC 4594, is 28 million light years distant and is smaller than our Milky Way Galaxy at 50,000 light year span.

My image was taken by a 120mm diameter f/7 900 mm focal length and a Camera digital SLR camera for 10 minute exposure.

The photo was taken from Borrego Springs, California. Compare it to the Hubble Space Telescope image.

R.A. 11h37m. Dec -11.5 degrees  Mag 8

Saturday, May 20th will be a Star Party.