Imaging telescope or lens: CELESTRON EdgeHD 800
Imaging camera: ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool
Mount: Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G
Guiding telescope or lens: CELESTRON EdgeHD 800
Guiding camera: ASI120MM
Focal reducer: Celestron 0.7x Focal Reducer
Integration: 13.6 hours
Avg. Moon age: 7.48 days
Avg. Moon phase: 53.04%
Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 5.00
Astrometry.net 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 image...my processing produced one very bright green source to the left of the galaxy. I'm going to have to figure that out. Very strange.
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