32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24




M106: Spiral Galaxy in Canes Venaciti

RA = 12 hrs 19 min; Dec = 47 deg 18 min

Date & Site:

Imaged on 3/10/2013; Little Blair Valley, Anza Desert, CA

Conditions: mild winds; 42 degrees; average seeing


Telescope: TEC 140 Refractor (F7 980 mm fl)
Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini
Camera: ST-10XME; CFW10; prime focus guided


Exposures: 2 hrs luminance (12 x10 min exposures); 40 min each of RGB (8 x 5 min exposures) 1x1 binned: total of 4hours

FOV = 52 x 35 arc minutes

Based on x-ray data and presence of unusual emission lines, M106 is believed to house a massive black hole in the center. Within the spiral structure of M106 is a yellowish remnant of an older spiral arm. The color of this arm indicates that its more massive stars have ceased to shine long ago. The age of the stellar population in this fossil spiral arm is estimated to be several hundred million years.

To the right of M106 is a barred spiral galaxy, NGC 4248 and two distant galaxies, NGC 4231 and 4232. NGC 4248 is considered a companion galaxy, or member of the same group as M106 . Two other faint galaxies can be seen in this field of view.

24 million ly distant

Back to Images