M106 - Spiral Galaxy in Canes Venatici


Copyright 2010 Hap Griffin

M106 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.  

The more distant galaxy at lower right is 12th magnitude edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 4248.  

M106 lies at a distance of 24 million light-years. 


Date/Location:    February 13, 2010     Griffin/Hunter Observatory    Bethune, SC
Camera: QSI 583wsg
Filters: Astrodon E Series Generation 2 LRGB
CCD Temperature: -20 C
Instrument:    Planewave CDK 12.5"  
Focal Ratio:   f/8
Mount: AP-1200
Guiding:    Auto via the QSI camera's built in Off-Axis Guider mirror and a Starlight Express Lodestar Guider
Conditions:    Clear and cold
Weather:    36F - 21F, still
Exposure: 350 minutes total (20 x 10 minutes Luminance binned 1x1, 10 x 5 minutes each in RGB binned 2x2)
Capture: CCDAutopilot 4 w/ Maxim DL Camera Control, focused automatically w/ FocusMax   
Processing:    Frame calibrations, alignment and stacking with ImagesPlus v3.80.  Finishing in Photoshop CS4.