Above and Beyond: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared Light

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This video shows the striking difference between viewing the Sombrero Galaxy in visible light and infrared light.

Galaxy Evolution
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA except:
·       Milky Way panorama courtesy of ESO/S. Brunier
·       Taurus constellation drawing from Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory
·       Andromeda Galaxy image courtesy of Bill Schoening, Vanessa Harvey/REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF
·       Redshift animation courtesy of ESO
·       Centaurus A visible-light images courtesy of ESO
Written by Tracy Vogel
Designed by Marc Lussier
Music courtesy of Associated Production Music


 A white disk of a galaxy seen from the edge. A bump in the middle forms the core. 

Text, VISIBLE LIGHT. The Sombrero Galaxy, 28 million light-years away, is a striking example of a spiral galaxy seen nearly edge-on from Earth. 

VISIBLE AND INFRARED LIGHT. Infrared observations pick up hidden features, like the bright, smooth ring of dust encircling the galaxy, shown in red. 

The galaxy in infrared has a blue center disk and red ring around the circumference. 

Text, The glow in the center of the galaxy comes from material swirling around the galaxy's huge central black hole.