M106 - Spiral Galaxy in Canes Venatici 


Copyright 2008 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:    October 31, 2008     Griffin/Hunter Observatory    Bethune, SC
Instrument:    Canon 40D Digital SLR (modified) through 10" Orion F/4.7 Newtonian w/ Baader MPCC 
Focal Ratio:   F/4.7
Guiding:    Auto via SBIG ST-402 through Takahashi FS-102
Conditions:    Visually clear
Weather:    30 F
Exposure: 60 minutes total (20 x 3 minutes @ ISO800)
Filters:    Baader UV/IR Block internal to camera
Processing:    Focused and captured,  RAW to TIFF conversion, auto-dark and flat frame calibration, Digital Development, Richardson-Lucy deconvolution, resizing and JPEG conversion in ImagesPlus.  Color correction in Photoshop CS2.  Noise reduction in Neat Image.