Messier 106 is intermediate spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici. It was discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1791 and is located about 22 million light years from Earth. M106 is quite bright galaxy available for medium sized binoculars under dark skies. Its apparent dimensions are also quite impressive, because the galaxy halo extends for over 18 arc minutes that is more than half of apparent size of the Moon. 

Messier 106 galaxy is very interesting object. It contains active nucleus with supermassive black hole inside that is actively gobbling up material. It also has “additional” two arms that are barely visible in the images. This faint arms are made of hot gas, and are indirect result of interacting interstellar matter with massive black hole inside M106. Galactic matter jets are traveling over galactic plane, heat up gas and causes it to glow. 

I collected subframes for the image below in the spring 2018. This is not a big amount of data – only 90 minutes of luminance and some colour, but seeing was good and some structures are visible. I plan to get back to this galaxy again next spring and spent more time on it to reveal some faint details and halos. At my location good weather is not an often visitor, so collecting proper amount of good quality data is usually a project for several seasons. Unless you target some circumpolar objects 🙂

M106 galaxy
M106 galaxy in Canes Venatici

Large version

Clear skies!

Image technical data: 

Date: 22.03,06.05.2018 
Location: Nieborowice, Poland 
Telescope: Meade ACF 10" 
Corrector: AP CCDT67 
Camera: QHY163M, gain 0 
Mount: SW EQ6 
Guiding: SW 80/400 + ASI290MM 
Exposure: L 45x2, RGB 15:12:15x2 minutes 
Conditions: seeing good, transparency good