Alt. Designations: NGC 4594, Sombrero Galaxy
Object Type: Spiral Galaxy
Constellation: Virgo
Distance: 50 mly
Right Ascension: 12h 39m 59.3s
Declination: -11° 37´ 21"
Visual Magnitude: 8.3
Apparent Dimension: 8.6´ x 4.2´
Best Month To View: Apr

The famous sombrero galaxy is located within the constellation of Virgo. Its designation is M104. This edge-on spiral galaxy got its name from the sombrero hat-like appearance. It is the first object in the catalog that was not included in the original publication. Messier added it by hand to his personal copy in 1781. M104 is characterized by a dark dust lane that spans the length of the galaxy's disk. It is located about 50 million light-years from Earth. This object can be located with binoculars but is best seen in a 4-inch or larger telescope.