M106 and Neighbors in Canes Venatici


Copyright 2009 Hap Griffin

M106, the large spiral galaxy on the left, is a Seyfert Galaxy indicating that it has a very active core which is emitting copious energy in the radio spectrum.  A massive black hole exists in its center and the ring of hot matter spiraling into it creates two jets of material, one below the plane of the galaxy and another above the plane...neither of which is visible in this photograph.  M106 lies at a distance of 24 million light-years. 

A number of other galaxies are visible as well.  To the upper right of M106 is 12th magnitude edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 4248 lying at a similar distance of 24 million light years.  Just below M106 is the dim magnitude 15.8 irregular galaxy PGC 39615.  At the lower right is edge on spiral galaxy NGC 4217 at over twice the distance of M106...55 million light years.  Just to the right of the upper middle of the image is a pair of spiral galaxies, NGC 4231 and NGC 4232.


Date/Location:    January 31, 2009     Griffin/Hunter II Observatory    Bethune, SC
Instrument:    Canon 40D (modified IR filtering) Digital SLR through 10" Newtonian w/MPCC 
Focal Ratio:   f/ 4.7
Guiding:    SBIG ST-402 through Takahashi FSQ-106N
Conditions:    Clear and cold
Weather:    32 F
Exposure: 120 minutes total (40 x 3 minutes @ ISO 800)
Filters:    Baader UV/IR block internal to camera
Processing:    Focused and captured,  RAW to TIFF conversion, flat and dark frame calibration, auto alignment,  Digital Development, resizing and JPEG conversion in ImagesPlus v3.50a.  Final tweaking in Photoshop CS3.