SPACE SWOON: The Little Sombrero Hanging Out In Pegasus
Check out the Little Sombrero. Just hanging out. Completely chill. How chill? The LS (as we who are its friends call it) is so chill that it doesn’t even mind being called “Little”, despite the fact that it’s pretty much the same size as the Sombrero Galaxy proper.
Point your telescope toward the high flying constellationPegasus and you can find this expanse of Milky Way stars and distant galaxies. Centered on NGC 7814, the pretty field of view would almost becovered by a full moon. NGC 7814 is sometimes called the Little Sombrero for its resemblance to the brighter more famous M104, the Sombrero Galaxy. Both Sombrero and Little Sombrero are spiral galaxies seen edge-on, and both have extensive central bulges cut by a thinner disk with dust lanes in silhouette. In fact, NGC 7814 is some 40 million light-years away and an estimated 60,000 light-years across. That actually makes the Little Sombrero about the same physical size as its better known namesake, appearing to be smaller and fainter only because it is farther away. A very faint dwarf galaxy, potentially a satellite of NGC 7814, is revealed in the deep exposure just below the Little Sombrero.