Cookie consent

AstroBin saves small pieces of text information (cookies) on your device in order to deliver better content and for statistical purposes. You can disable the usage of cookies by changing the settings of your browser. By browsing AstroBin without changing the browser settings, you grant us permission to store that information on your device.

I agree
Contains:  M 106, NGC 4258, NGC 4248, NGC 4232, NGC 4231, NGC 4226, NGC 4217
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
M106, NGC 4217, 


            Jerry Macon
M106, NGC 4217

M106, NGC 4217

Technical card

Resolution: 4504x3420

Dates:May 31, 2019June 1, 2019

Astrodon Gen 2 L 36mm: 97x100" (gain: 99.00) -15C bin 1x1
Astrodon Gen 2 RGB 36mm: 94x100" (gain: 99.00) -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 5.3 hours

Avg. Moon age: 27.06 days

Avg. Moon phase: 6.98%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 4.00

Temperature: 10.00 job: 2734064

RA center: 184.477 degrees

DEC center: 47.295 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.701 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 177.819 degrees

Field radius: 0.551 degrees

Locations: Dark Star Observatory, Taos, New Mexico, United States

Data source: Own remote observatory

Remote source: Non-commercial independent facility


Images from the following two scopes (piggybacked) contributed to this image:
AG12+ASI1600MM at .70 asec/pix
TV127is+ASI183MM at .75 asec/pix.
They were all registered to the best R image taken on the AG12.
Using L from the TV NP127is refractor effectively eliminates the spikes from the AG12.

This target has a multitude of lovely little galaxies.

Messier 106 (also known as NGC 4258) is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781. M106 is at a distance of about 22 to 25 million light-years away from Earth. M106 contains an active nucleus classified as a Type 2 Seyfert, and the presence of a central supermassive black hole has been demonstrated from radio-wavelength observations of the rotation of a disk of molecular gas orbiting within the inner light-year around the black hole. NGC 4217 is a possible companion galaxy of Messier 106. A Type II supernova was observed in M106 in May 2014.

M106 has a water vapor megamaser (the equivalent of a laser operating in microwave instead of visible light and on a galactic scale) that is seen by the 22-GHz line of ortho-H2O that evidences dense and warm molecular gas. These water vapors give M106 its characteristic purple color. Water masers are useful to observe nuclear accretion disks in active galaxies. The water masers in M106 enabled the first case of a direct measurement of the distance to a galaxy, thereby providing an independent anchor for the cosmic distance ladder. M106 has a slightly warped, thin, almost edge-on Keplerian disc which is on a subparsec scale.

It is one of the largest and brightest nearby galaxies, similar in size and luminosity to the Andromeda Galaxy.

M106 has also played an important role in calibrating the cosmic distance ladder. Before, Cepheid variables from other galaxies could not be used to measure distances since they cover ranges of metallicities different from the Milky Way's. M106 contains Cepheid variables similar to both the metallicities of the Milky Way and other galaxies' Cepheids. By measuring the distance of the Cepheids with metallicities similar to our galaxy, astronomers are able to recalibrate the other Cepheids with different metallicities, a key fundamental step in improving quantification of distances to other galaxies in the universe.



Jerry Macon
License: Attribution Creative Commons

Sky plot

Sky plot


M106, NGC 4217, 


            Jerry Macon