M 106

Click photo to see a larger image.
Description: This is the nearest galaxy to us that has extragalactic astrophysical jets. These are powered by a massive black hole found in this galaxy's core. See the shock wave produced by one of these jets by going to the large image.
The blue knots at the ends of the spiral arms owe their color to the hot, bright, massive, blue stars that have formed there. Since these stars only live for a few million years, this indicates very recent star formation.
The core of this galaxy also has a water vapor maser. This is similar to a laser, but with the energy produced at microwave frequencies rather than those of visible light.
Constellation: Canis Venatici
Distance: 25 million light years
Apparent Size: 19' x 8'
Date: 29, 30 march 2006
Equipment: 12.5" RC @ f/9, ST10XME, AP1200
Exposure: LRGB: 230-60-70-80 minutes, all unbinned