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Obj Type
Date Taken:
J. Thibert
Messier 106
Mayhill, NM

This is a new version of M106 taken during April and May of 2006.

The bright spiral galaxy M106, discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781,. is about 21 to 25 million light years distant. It is receding at 537 km/sec. Sandage suspects it may be a member of the Ursa Major cloud, a loose agglomeration of galaxies which probably also homes M108 and M109, while Tully lists it in the Coma-Sculptor cloud, and Fouque et.al (1992) in a group called Canes Venatici II (CVn II) group or M106 group of galaxies. While M106 is usually classified as peculiar "normal" spiral of type Sb (or Sbp), Tully classifies it as SABbc, i.e., intermediate between Sb and Sc, and intermediate between normal and barred spirals.

As its equatorial plane is similarly inclined to the line of sight, many features resemble what we know from the Andromeda galaxy M31. As Alan Sandage mentions in the Hubble Atlas of Galaxies, this orientation explains partly why the dust lanes are so prominent in this galaxy. They form a spiral pattern which can be traced well into its bright central region to the core. The spiral arms apparently end in bright blue knots. These knots are most probably young star clusters which are dominated by their very hot, brightest and most massive stars; the occurance of these hot stars indictes that these clusters cannot be very old, as such massive stars have only a short lifetime of a few million years. So the blue knots show us the regions of very recent star formation!

John Pierce produced an earlier version of this object on June 6, 2005 processed to show maximum detail in the interesting core region.  John's version was taken with our old ST10XME camera and was a simple LRGB (115,.40, 40, 40 minutes).  Click here to see his earlier version.

Technical Details
Exposure Time:
HaL-HaR-GB (L 20x30 minutes, Ha 10x30 minutes, and each color was 6x30 minutes) all binned 1x1
RCOS 16 inch f/8.7 Ritchey-Chretien
Software Bisque Paramount ME
© 2024 J. Thibert
Used with permission, No reproduction of these images are permitted without written approval from J. Thibert.