Universe Guide

Sombrero Galaxy (M104, NGC4594) Facts and How to Find

Sombrero Galaxy (M104, NGC4594) Facts and How to Find Spiral Galaxy in Virgo

Sombrero Galaxy (M104, NGC4594) is a spiral galaxy object of interest in space. It lies at a distance of between 28,700,000.00 and 30,900,000.00 light years away in the constellation of Virgo.

It is referred to as M(104) when it was catalogued by Charles Messier in 18th - 19th Century France. It is also referred to as NGC(4594) in the New General Catalogue. This is a list of deep space objects that was compiled by John Louis Emil Dreyer in 1888 in an update to John Herschel earlier catalogue.

The Spiral Galaxy's location is 12:40.0 (R.A.) and -11:37 (Dec.). Its Visual (Apparent) Brightness is 9.00 Magnitude with an apparent dimension of 9x4 . The object can not be seen by the naked eye from Earth, you need a telescope to see it.

Sombrero Galaxy (M104, NGC4594) has a radius of 25,000 light years or to put it another way, it has a diameter of 50,000 light years. It would take a space ship 50,000 years travelling at the speed of light to get from one side to the other.

Sombrero galaxy (M104,NGC4594) is a spiral galaxy. It was discovered in 1781 by Charles Messier. It's location is RA(12:40.0), Dec(-11:37) and its distance is calculated 28.700-30.900 light years away. Its visual Brightness is 8.0. Its apparent dimensions measured in arcmins is 9x4.

How to find and see the Sombrero Galaxy (M104, NGC4594)

The site assumes that you are viewing from London in the Northern Hemisphere and from Sydney in the Southern Hemisphere and are looking at the sky about 9 p.m. If you are looking at another time or location, you will need to adjust for your location.

The Sombrero Galaxy is located on the borders of Virgo and Corvus the crow. I've put the nearest star as being Eta Corvi rather than a star that is within the Virgo constellation. There is not much in it between which star is the nearest.

Northern Hemisphere

London, Great Britain

The best time to see it is from April when it is on the horizon at 9 p.m. For viewing earlier in the year, you need to look up at the sky later than 9 p.m. It will stay just above the horizon until mid/late august when although the constellation is still there, the Sombrero Galaxy will no longer be visible.

Miami, United States

The Sombrero Galaxy is visible in the night sky from March in a East-South East direction. It should be visible in the night sky until about middle of August in which to see it. The galaxy will appear before and disappear before Virgo appears and disappears.

Southern Hemisphere

It will appear on the horizon in March time in an easterly direction. Over the following months, it will rise to its highest point in May/June and then head back down and eventually disappearing in August.

Travel Time to Sombrero Galaxy (M104, NGC4594)

The time it will take to travel to this star is dependent on how fast you are going. U.G. has done some calculations as to how long it will take going at differing speeds. A note about the calculations, when I'm talking about years, I'm talking non-leap years only (365 days).

The New Horizons space probe is the fastest probe that we've sent into space at the time of writing. Its primary mission was to visit Pluto which at the time of launch (2006), Pluto was still a planet.

DescriptionSpeed (m.p.h.)Time (years)
Airbus A38073626,150,403,875,407.61
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.26925,084,679,887,106.09
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.5412,542,323,596,843.35
New Horizons Probe33,000583,233,250,069.70
Speed of Light670,616,629.0028,700,000.00

Fact File

NameSombrero Galaxy (M104, NGC4594)
TypeSpiral Galaxy
Messier Id104
NGC Id4594
Right Ascension12:40.0
Distance (Lt.Yr)28,700,000 - 30,900,000
Radius (Lt.Yr)25,000.00
Apparent Dimension9x4
Visual / Apparent Magnitude9.00
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 7x50 Binoculars - Magnitudes
Year of Discovery1781
DiscovererCharles Messier
Morphological TypeSa D ~
CoprightN.A.S.A, Hubble Site

Location of Sombrero Galaxy (M104, NGC4594) Facts and How to Find in Virgo

Sombrero Galaxy (M104, NGC4594) Facts and How to Find Spiral Galaxy in Virgo

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