APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

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APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby APOD Robot » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:06 am

Image The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared

Explanation: This floating ring is the size of a galaxy. In fact, it is part of the photogenic Sombrero Galaxy, one of the largest galaxies in the nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. The dark band of dust that obscures the mid-section of the Sombrero Galaxy in optical light actually glows brightly in infrared light. The above image, digitally sharpened, shows the infrared glow, recently recorded by the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope, superposed in false-color on an existing image taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in optical light. The Sombrero Galaxy, also known as M104, spans about 50,000 light years across and lies 28 million light years away. M104 can be seen with a small telescope in the direction of the constellation Virgo.

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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby sffilmstagemusic » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:22 am

Good Evening: I've asked about them before, and I'm still curious about the "owl's eyes" in the lower left hand corner of the picture (this time, they have a pink glow). I can't possibly be the first person to have observed them (can I?), but if no one else has given them a name, may I declare them to known henceforth and forever more as The Owl's Eyes?
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby owlice » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:41 am

I love this image.
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby Ann » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:37 am

sffilmstagemusic wrote:Good Evening: I've asked about them before, and I'm still curious about the "owl's eyes" in the lower left hand corner of the picture (this time, they have a pink glow). I can't possibly be the first person to have observed them (can I?), but if no one else has given them a name, may I declare them to known henceforth and forever more as The Owl's Eyes?


My software has no name for them.

They are, of course, two spiral galaxies. You can see them in the lower left in this Hubble image. As you can see, they are two interacting spiral galaxies. They appear to be almost exactly the same shape and also the same size.

In today's APOD, these two galaxies are intensely red. What does that mean? It means that they are very dusty. M104 only has a thin dust lane, but the two "twin galaxies" are full of dust. Almost certainly, they are also full of star formation.

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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby Mr Blue Sky » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:08 am

Nice image again. I suppose you will all know this but I am wondering why galaxies tend to be flat discs rather than spherical fields? What is it that forces stuff into a flat plane? A reference would suffice as I do not want anyone to get too involved if it is a really complicated answer. A one word answer like gravity would be insufficient but a few pointers would be appreciated.
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby henrystar » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:54 am

I'd like to see the Spitzer image by itself. Just a ring?
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby inertnet » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:42 am

Hi all,

while looking at the neighborhood of this galaxy in Google Earth, I came across a strange blue streak. Does anybody have any idea what this might be? My guess it's just an image processing artifact:

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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby orin stepanek » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:23 pm

I love this image of the Sombrero Galaxy! :thumb_up: 8-)
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby Sandstone » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:30 pm

One neat optical "illusion" that makes this picture outstanding is the pseudo-depth-of-field effect. The back part of the galaxy is partially obscured by the intervening gasses/nebulosity. This tends to blur it out. However, we are accustomed to seeing this differential background blurring when taking a photo with a wide-open aperture (here on earth, like a portrait). So the mind tends to interpret this as a depth-of-field effect. This mental processing gives the picture a very 3-D look, at least to me it comes across that way.
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby Tszabeau » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:56 pm

It's my understanding that the stars with spectral spikes are within the Milky Way. Other than those, can we tell which of the stars, outside the Sombrero are "Lone Rangers", for lack of a better term? That is, stars that are not in a galaxy proper. What of their behaviors... for example, do they wander in and out of galaxies analagous to comets to our solar system? Do we know of plantets orbiting the Lone Rangers?
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby mad hatter » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:34 pm

Hi, just a clarification. Sombrero is not a member of the Virgo Cluster. It lies at a distance D = 9 Mpc from us, compared to D = 16.5 Mpc for Virgo. They are also separated by ~24 deg on the sky (~8 Mpc at Virgo's distance). M104 is traditionally considered to be a member of a loose group of galaxies.
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby BMAONE23 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:36 pm

henrystar wrote:I'd like to see the Spitzer image by itself. Just a ring?

here's the link
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby Chris Peterson » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:51 pm

Mr Blue Sky wrote:Nice image again. I suppose you will all know this but I am wondering why galaxies tend to be flat discs rather than spherical fields? What is it that forces stuff into a flat plane? A reference would suffice as I do not want anyone to get too involved if it is a really complicated answer. A one word answer like gravity would be insufficient but a few pointers would be appreciated.

It has to do with what happens when you spin something that is dense enough to have viscous fluid effects. Because individual particles interact, both by collision and by electromagnetic interaction, angular momentum is transferred in such a way that everything eventually ends up with its angular momentum vector pointing in the same direction (although the magnitude varies, of course). This happens in young galaxies, which are smaller and denser. It persists in mature spiral galaxies, but is fragile. A collision between two galaxies typically destroys the discs, and they can't reform, so you end up with irregular or elliptical galaxies.

When you don't have a viscous environment (little gas and dust) you do, indeed, end up with a spherical structure. Globular clusters and the spherical dark matter halos found around galaxies demonstrate this.
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby Case » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:11 pm

sffilmstagemusic wrote:I've asked about them before, and I'm still curious about the "owl's eyes" in the lower left hand corner of the picture.
See this previous thread.
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby bystander » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:23 pm


BMAONE23 wrote:
henrystar wrote:I'd like to see the Spitzer image by itself. Just a ring?

here's the link

http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/1425-ssc2005-11a3
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby Psnarf » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:37 pm

Re Blue Streak: Would you please post the coordinates? I can't quite make them out in the image. Perhaps the URI to the original images? Which wavelengths, optical? False-color infra-red, x-ray?
Doesn't look like a galactic collision remnant.

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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby ViliMax » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:06 pm

I like the images created by mixing visible and others wave lengths. This is amazingly different way to look in the cosmic objects ...
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby Ann » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:12 am

Case wrote:
sffilmstagemusic wrote:I've asked about them before, and I'm still curious about the "owl's eyes" in the lower left hand corner of the picture.
See this previous thread.


Thanks, Case. Very interesting. I can actually see large numbers of individual blue star clusters in one of the galaxies, while the other galaxy just seems to be bluish anyway.

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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby inertnet » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:37 am

Psnarf wrote:Re Blue Streak: Would you please post the coordinates? I can't quite make them out in the image. Perhaps the URI to the original images? Which wavelengths, optical? False-color infra-red, x-ray?
Doesn't look like a galactic collision remnant.


I don't know any details, the coordinates are at the bottom of the image, which I copied from Google Earth. They become visible when you zoom in:

RK 12h35m14.23s Dec -12°07'11.06"

On the bottom right is says 0°01'43.28" angular degrees (translated 'booggraden' from Dutch).

It doesn't look like a natural object to me, more like an image processing artifact.
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby Psnarf » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:14 pm

Thanks, Inertnet. When I blew up your image, the coordinates were blurred. GIMP couldn't sharpen them. Could be an artifact of Google Earth; maybe an easter egg. My new favorite search engine, https://duckduckgo.com/, couldn't find anything beginning with RK. Maybe that's goggle's version of right ascension? Tried ra and dec, assorted quotes and spaces, dropping the '"' because I didn't read the google manual far enough to find out how to add a double-quote char to a search. Tried to take the plunge and install goggle earth, but it can't do x64_64. Uses 32-bit libraries, can't find the lsb library in /lib64 and all. Status: MTM (mystery to me)
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby Wolf Kotenberg » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:08 pm

hate to tell you all but I am getting to be a pretty good spambot, circumventing every question so far. I did stumble on the reason for the sterisc. Now, this image would be
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby geckzilla » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:48 pm

Wolf, if you stop posting as a guest and just register an account it won't ask you those questions anymore. I never understood why some people refuse to take a couple minutes to sign up for the forum.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)c

Postby neptunium » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:24 pm

Actually, geckzilla, Wolf used to be ta15h0 or something like that, but he doesn't use that account for some reason.
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby Wolf Kotenberg » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:43 pm

I took a picture couple nights ago with my fancy dandy camcorder in negative mode. It was really cool ( and informative ). Wonder if asterisk has a negative of the Sombrero galaxy ?
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Re: APOD: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared (2012 Mar 11)

Postby ta152h0 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:46 pm

wow, still works ! pass me an ice cold one and marvel at computer powers !
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