Astronomy Picture of the Day



M106 in Canes Venatici

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#77449 by @ 31.07.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
M106 in Canes Venatici


Explanation:

Close to the Great Bear
(Ursa Major) and
surrounded by the stars
of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici), this celestial nebula was
discovered
in 1781 by the
metric
French astronomer
Pierre Mechain.

Later, it was added to the catalog of his friend and colleague
Charles Messier as
M106.

Modern deep telescopic views reveal it to be an
island universe --
a spiral galaxy around 30 thousand light-years across located
only about 21 million light-years beyond the stars of the Milky Way.

Youthful blue star clusters and reddish stellar nurseries
trace the striking spiral arms of M106.

Seen so clearly in
this
beautiful image
, the galaxy's bright
core is also visible
across
the spectrum
from radio to x-rays,
making M106 a nearby example of the
Seyfert class of
active galaxies.

The bright core of a Seyfert galaxy is believed to be powered
by matter falling into a massive

central black hole.


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