1. Optical image of the galaxy, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope
2. Infrared image from Spitzer Space Telescope
3. Final mix of the two images
The Spitzer infrared telescope and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have joined forces to create this composite image of one of the most popular objects in the universe.
Messier 104 is commonly known as the Sombrero galaxy because in visible light, resembling a Mexican hat. However, in infrared, the galaxy looks more like a 'bull's eye.'
Hubble was the first visible light image clearly showing the dust cloud that crosses its plane. Recent observations using Spitzer's infrared camera (second picture) found a bright ring of dust circling the galaxy, seen in red. Spitzer detects the brightness of stars through the clouds of dust.
Spitzer also shows that the disc is warped, which often happens as a result of a gravitational encounter with another galaxy, and brighter areas as spots to the inner edges indicates a region of intense star formation.
The Sombrero galaxy is located about 28 million light years away. Viewed from Earth, is tilted just six degrees south of its equatorial plane. Spitzer detected infrared emission not only from the ring, but also from the center of the galaxy, where a huge black hole, believed to be a billion times more massive than our Sun is a core galaxy with high emissivity.http://www.espacioprofundo.com.ar/verarticulo/Nuevas_imagenes_de_la_galaxia_del_Sombrero.html