M 104

Photo by Pittendreigh

1. Find the constellation Corvus. M104 is in Virgo, but your guide stars are in Corvus.

2. Line up Epsilon and Delta. Draw an imaginary line from Epsilon to Delta and extend that line beyond Delta for a distance that is somewhat less than that that separates Epsilon and Delta.

3. In your viewfinder, locate a square. One side of that square should be part of a slightly arching triad of stars.

4. Concentrate on that triad of stars and zoom in on what would be a fourth star in that pattern.

5. At this point, I go to low power in my Questar and see a distinctive line of stars. Putting these near the edge of my field of view, they will point to M104, which will be right on the edge. In some telescopes, the field may be larger, or it may be smaller and you will need to extend beyond in the direction these stars point.


The nickname for this galaxy is the Sombrero, with a little imagination, that is what you will see. You should definitely see a rather bright galaxy, showing as a white line with a distinct bulge in the middle. One of the interesting features of this galaxy is the dark lane that cuts through the rim. You will not see this with binoculars. You will need a 6 or 8 inch telescope for this.

No comments: