Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Canes Venatici (CVn)  ·  Contains:  M 106  ·  NGC 4248  ·  NGC 4258
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M106 in HaLRGB, 


            Joel Shepherd
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M106 in HaLRGB

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
M106 in HaLRGB, 


            Joel Shepherd
Powered byPixInsight

M106 in HaLRGB

Imaging telescopes or lenses: TEC 140 APO FL

Imaging cameras: Atik 460EX Mono

Mounts: Astro-Physics Mach1GTO

Guiding cameras: Lodestar X2

Software: Sequence Generator Pro  ·  PixInsight 1.8

Filters: Baader Planetarium LRGB CCD 1.25"  ·  Astrodon 5nm H-alpha


Dates:Feb. 19, 2020Feb. 20, 2020Feb. 27, 2020March 9, 2020

Astrodon 5nm H-alpha: 15x600" (2h 30') -20C bin 1x1
Baader Planetarium B 1.25": 35x180" (1h 45') -20C bin 1x1
Baader Planetarium G 1.25": 30x180" (1h 30') -20C bin 1x1
Baader Planetarium L 1.25": 60x180" (3h) -20C bin 1x1
Baader Planetarium R 1.25": 30x180" (1h 30') -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 10h 15'

Avg. Moon age: 17.56 days

Avg. Moon phase: 34.46%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 6.00

Astrometry.net job: 3591071

RA center: 12h 18' 49"

DEC center: +47° 18' 7"

Pixel scale: 1.313 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 95.781 degrees

Field radius: 0.371 degrees

Resolution: 1600x1255

Locations: Home, Seattle, WA, United States

Data source: Backyard


This is M106, an interesting spiral galaxy about 23 million light years from earth. A close neighbor, in galactic terms. M106 has a super-massive black hole at its center, equivalent to 37 million of our suns in mass. It has four major arms: two of which are easily visible in this picture, the other two -- believed to be related to the black hole -- of which are whispy tendrils of superheated gas, just barely visible here as reddish tints. M106 emits massive amounts of microwave radiation, and its blueish hue is due to dense clouds of water vapor. M106's microwave radiation enabled a more precise measurement of its distance, which in turn enabled better calibration of one of astronomy's most useful yardsticks: Cepheid variable stars, which brighten and dim faster or slower depending on their inherent brightness.

I tried a different (for me anyway) method of blending the Ha channel into the RGB, using a linear fit to essentially stretch the Ha to match the already-stretched RGB, and then pixel math to blend the Ha into all three RGB channels: predominantly into red but small amounts into blue and green as well, roughly following the technique described by Chris Schur in 2007, It did seem to bring out extra depth, particularly in the outer areas of the galaxy.


Sky plot

Sky plot


M106 in HaLRGB, 


            Joel Shepherd