Contains: M 106, NGC 4258, NGC 4248

Image of the day 02/08/2018

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M106 - A Nearby Seyfert Galaxy

Technical card

Resolution: 4420x3316

Dates: Jan. 19, 2018Jan. 26, 2018Jan. 28, 2018

Blue: 30x240" -20C bin 1x1
Green: 30x240" -20C bin 1x1
Luminance: 152x180" -20C bin 1x1
Red: 30x240" -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 13.6 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Bias: ~256

Avg. Moon age: 7.48 days

Avg. Moon phase: 53.04%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 5.00 job: 1912571

RA center: 184.722 degrees

DEC center: 47.304 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.527 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 272.146 degrees

Field radius: 0.404 degrees


Messier 106 does appear to be a fairly typical intermediate spiral about 24 million light years from us. That puts it about 10 times further than the Andromeda Galaxy and it is actually roughly the same size. It is one of the closer large galaxies to the Milky Way, though outside our immediate group.

It may look docile enough, but at its core lies a supermassive black hole with a very active and super-luminous accretion disk. This places it into the category of a Type 2 Seyfert galaxy and it is one of the nearest of ones. Seyfert galaxies spew massive amounts of radiation in wavelengths that are quite beyond the capturing capability of my equipment. In fact M106's core generates a water vapor megamaser (a microwave water laser, doesn't that sound fun?). But, let's just agree it is a hostile place.

The warped outer reaches of the galactic arms suggest some past interactions. The suspected culprit is NGC4217 which is an edge on spiral that is outside this frame (off the bottom).

M106 is one of the larger galaxies in the night sky but framed up nicely with my system. I squeezed this image out in three nights imaging and cheated a bit shooting some of it under moonlight. I hate doing that, but desperate times....

One oddity in this processing produced one very bright green source to the left of the galaxy. I'm going to have to figure that out. Very strange.



Jason Guenzel

Sky plot

Sky plot


M106 - A Nearby Seyfert Galaxy, 


        Jason Guenzel