Messier 106

Messier 106 (also known as NGC 4258) is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781. M106 is at a distance of about 22 to 25 million light-years away from Earth. M106 contains an active nucleus classified as a Type 2 Seyfert, and the presence of a central supermassive black hole has been demonstrated from radio-wavelength observations of the rotation of a disk of molecular gas orbiting within the inner light-year around the black hole.[8] NGC 4217 is a possible companion galaxy of Messier 106.[7] A Type II supernova was observed in M106 in May 2014.[9]

Messier 106
Messier 106 visible and infrared composite
M106 and its anomalous arms, Composite of IR (red) and optical light (Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and R. Gendler (for the Hubble Heritage Team)
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
ConstellationCanes Venatici
Right ascension 12h 18m 57.5s[1]
Declination+47° 18′ 14″[1]
Redshift448 ± 3 km/s[1]
Distance23.7 ± 1.5 Mly (7 ± 0.5 Mpc)[2][3]
Apparent magnitude (V)8.4[1]
Size135,000 ly (in diameter)[4]
Apparent size (V)18′.6 × 7′.2[1]
Notable featuresMaser galaxy,[5] Seyfert II galaxy.[6]
Other designations
M 106, NGC 4258, UGC 7353, PGC 39600.[1][7]
Messier 106 (left) with possible companion galaxy NGC 4217 (lower right)
Messier 106 by Spitzer
Composite image of IR, x-ray, radio and visible light view (X-ray – blue, Optical – gold, IR – red, Radio – purple)


M106 has a water vapor megamaser (the equivalent of a laser operating in microwave instead of visible light and on a galactic scale) that is seen by the 22-GHz line of ortho-H2O that evidences dense and warm molecular gas. These water vapors give M106 its characteristic purple color.[10] Water masers are useful to observe nuclear accretion disks in active galaxies. The water masers in M106 enabled the first case of a direct measurement of the distance to a galaxy, thereby providing an independent anchor for the cosmic distance ladder.[11][12] M106 has a slightly warped, thin, almost edge-on Keplerian disc which is on a subparsec scale. It surrounds a central area with mass 4 × 107M.[13]

It is one of the largest and brightest nearby galaxies, similar in size and luminosity to the Andromeda Galaxy.[14] The supermassive black hole at the core has a mass of (3.9±0.1)×107 M.[15]

M106 has also played an important role in calibrating the cosmic distance ladder. Before, Cepheid variables from other galaxies could not be used to measure distances since they cover ranges of metallicities different from the Milky Way's. M106 contains Cepheid variables similar to both the metallicities of the Milky Way and other galaxies' Cepheids. By measuring the distance of the Cepheids with metallicities similar to our galaxy, astronomers are able to recalibrate the other Cepheids with different metallicities, a key fundamental step in improving quantification of distances to other galaxies in the universe.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for Messier 106. Retrieved 7 December 2006.
  2. ^ Tonry, J. L.; et al. (2001). "The SBF Survey of Galaxy Distances. IV. SBF Magnitudes, Colors, and Distances". Astrophysical Journal. 546 (2): 681–693. arXiv:astro-ph/0011223. Bibcode:2001ApJ...546..681T. doi:10.1086/318301.
  3. ^ a b Macri, L. M.; et al. (2006). "A New Cepheid Distance to the Maser-Host Galaxy NGC 4258 and Its Implications for the Hubble Constant". Astrophysical Journal. 652 (2): 1133–1149. arXiv:astro-ph/0608211. Bibcode:2006ApJ...652.1133M. doi:10.1086/508530.
  4. ^ freestarcharts
  5. ^ Bonanos, Alceste Z. (2006). "Eclipsing Binaries: Tools for Calibrating the Extragalactic Distance Scale". Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union. 2 (S240): 79. arXiv:astro-ph/0610923. Bibcode:2007IAUS..240...79B. doi:10.1017/S1743921307003845.
  6. ^ Humphreys, E. M. L.; et al. (2004). "Improved Maser Distance to NGC 4258". Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society. 36: 1468. Bibcode:2004AAS...205.7301H.
  7. ^ a b "M 106". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 7 December 2006.
  8. ^ Miyoshi, Makoto; et al. (12 January 1995). "Evidence for a black hole from high rotation velocities in a sub-parsec region of NGC4258". Nature. 373 (6510): 127–129. Bibcode:1995Natur.373..127M. doi:10.1038/373127a0.
  9. ^ "KAIT Prediscovery Detection of PS1-14xz in NGC 4258 (Messier 106)". The Astronomer's Telegram. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  10. ^ Color analysis of M106:
  11. ^ JR Herrnstein; et al. (1999). "A geometric distance to the galaxy NGC 4258 from orbital motions in a nuclear gas disk". Nature. 400 (6744): 539–541. arXiv:astro-ph/9907013. Bibcode:1999Natur.400..539H. doi:10.1038/22972.
  12. ^ Richard de Grijs (2011). An Introduction to Distance Measurement in Astronomy. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-470-51180-0.
  13. ^ Henkel, C.; et al. (2005). "New H2O masers in Seyfert and FIR bright galaxies". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 436 (1): 75–90. arXiv:astro-ph/0503070. Bibcode:2005A&A...436...75H. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20042175.
  14. ^ Karachentsev, Igor D.; Karachentseva, Valentina E.; Huchtmeier, Walter K.; Makarov, Dmitry I. (2003). "A Catalog of Neighboring Galaxies". The Astronomical Journal. 127 (4): 2031–2068. Bibcode:2004AJ....127.2031K. doi:10.1086/382905.
  15. ^ Graham, Alister W. (November 2008), "Populating the Galaxy Velocity Dispersion - Supermassive Black Hole Mass Diagram: A Catalogue of (Mbh, σ) Values", Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 25 (4): 167–175, arXiv:0807.2549, Bibcode:2008PASA...25..167G, doi:10.1071/AS08013.

External links

Coordinates: Sky map 12h 18m 57.5s, +47° 18′ 14″

Intermediate spiral galaxy

An intermediate spiral galaxy is a galaxy that is in between the classifications of a barred spiral galaxy and an unbarred spiral galaxy. It is designated as SAB in the galaxy morphological classification system devised by Gerard de Vaucouleurs. Subtypes are labeled as SAB0, SABa, SABb, or SABc, following a sequence analogous to the Hubble sequence for barred and unbarred spirals. The subtype (0, a, b, or c) is based on the relative prominence of the central bulge and how tightly wound the spiral arms are.

Large Magellanic Cloud

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. At a distance of about 50 kiloparsecs (≈163,000 light-years), the LMC is the second- or third-closest galaxy to the Milky Way, after the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal (~16 kpc) and the possible dwarf irregular galaxy known as the Canis Major Overdensity. Based on readily visible stars and a mass of approximately 10 billion solar masses, the diameter of the LMC is about 14,000 light-years (4.3 kpc), making it roughly one one-hundredth as massive as the Milky Way. This makes the LMC the fourth-largest galaxy in the Local Group, after the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), the Milky Way, and the Triangulum Galaxy (M33).

The LMC is classified as a Magellanic spiral. It contains a stellar bar that is geometrically off-center, suggesting that it was a barred dwarf spiral galaxy before its spiral arms were disrupted, likely by tidal interactions from the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), and the Milky Way's gravity.With a declination of about -70°, the LMC is visible as a faint "cloud" only in the southern celestial hemisphere and from latitudes south of 20° N, straddling the border between the constellations of Dorado and Mensa, and appears longer than 20 times the Moon's diameter (about 10° across) from dark sites away from light pollution.The Milky Way and the LMC are expected to collide in approximately 2.4 billion years.

List of NGC objects (4001–5000)

This is a list of NGC objects 4001–5000 from the New General Catalogue (NGC). The astronomical catalogue is composed mainly of star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. Other objects in the catalogue can be found in the other subpages of the list of NGC objects.

The constellation information in these tables is taken from The Complete New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters by J. L. E. Dreyer, which was accessed using the "VizieR Service". Galaxy types are identified using the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database. The other data of these tables are from the SIMBAD Astronomical Database unless otherwise stated.

List of black holes

This is a list of black holes (and stars considered probable candidates) organized by size (including black holes of undetermined mass); some items in this list are galaxies or star clusters that are believed to be organized around a black hole. Messier and New General Catalogue designations are given where possible.


M106 or M-106 may refer to:

M106 (New York City bus), a New York City Bus route in Manhattan

M-106 (Michigan highway), a state highway in Michigan

BMW M106, a motor

Messier 106, a spiral galaxy about in the constellation Canes Venatici

Klimov VK-106 or M-106 aircraft engine

M106 mortar carrier a tracked, self-propelled artillery vehicle formerly in service with the United States Army

Messier object

The Messier objects are a set of 110 astronomical objects cataloged by the French astronomer Charles Messier in his Catalogue des Nébuleuses et des Amas d'Étoiles ("Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters").

Because Messier was interested in finding only comets, he created a list of non-comet objects that frustrated his hunt for them. The compilation of this list, in collaboration with his assistant Pierre Méchain, is known as the Messier catalogue. This catalogue of objects is one of the most famous lists of astronomical objects, and many Messier objects are still referenced by their Messier number.

The catalogue includes some astronomical objects that can be observed from Earth's Northern Hemisphere such as deep-sky objects, a characteristic which makes the Messier objects extremely popular targets for amateur astronomers.A preliminary version first appeared in the Memoirs of the French Academy of Sciences in 1771,

and the last item was added in 1966 by Kenneth Glyn Jones, based on Messier's observations.

The first version of Messier's catalogue contained 45 objects and was published in 1774 in the journal of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. In addition to his own discoveries, this version included objects previously observed by other astronomers, with only 17 of the 45 objects being Messier's.

By 1780 the catalogue had increased to 80 objects. The final version of the catalogue containing 103 objects was published in 1781 in the Connaissance des Temps for the year 1784.

However, due to what was thought for a long time to be the incorrect addition of Messier 102, the total number remained 102. Other astronomers, using side notes in Messier's texts, eventually filled out the list up to 110 objects.The catalogue consists of a diverse range of astronomical objects, ranging from star clusters and nebulae to galaxies. For example, Messier 1 is a supernova remnant, known as the Crab Nebula, and the great spiral Andromeda Galaxy is M31. Many further inclusions followed in the next century when the first addition came from Nicolas Camille Flammarion in 1921, who added Messier 104 after finding Messier's side note in his 1781 edition exemplar of the catalogue. M105 to M107 were added by Helen Sawyer Hogg in 1947, M108 and M109 by Owen Gingerich in 1960, and M110 by Kenneth Glyn Jones in 1967.

NGC 4242

NGC 4242 is a spiral galaxy in the northern constellation of Canes Venatici. The galaxy is about 18 million light years (5.5 megaparsecs) away. It was discovered on 10 April 1788 by William Herschel, and it was described as "very faint, considerably large, irregular, round, very gradually brighter in the middle, resolvable" by John Louis Emil Dreyer, the compiler of the New General Catalogue.NGC 4242's galaxy morphological type is SABdm. This means that it is an intermediate spiral galaxy, with loosely wound spiral arms and is generally irregular in appearance. It was photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2017. The image shows an asymmetric center and a small galactic bar. NGC 4242 has a relatively low surface brightness and rate of star formation. NGC 4242 may be a satellite galaxy of Messier 106 and is a member of the Canes II Group.SN 2002bu was detected in NGC 4242, brightening to its peak magnitude of 15.5 in 2002. It was originally classified as a type II supernova, but it may be a supernova impostor, like SN 2008S.

Seyfert galaxy

Seyfert galaxies are one of the two largest groups of active galaxies, along with quasars. They have quasar-like nuclei (very luminous, distant and bright sources of electromagnetic radiation) with very high surface brightnesses whose spectra reveal strong, high-ionisation emission lines, but unlike quasars, their host galaxies are clearly detectable.Seyfert galaxies account for about 10% of all galaxies and are some of the most intensely studied objects in astronomy, as they are thought to be powered by the same phenomena that occur in quasars, although they are closer and less luminous than quasars. These galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centers which are surrounded by accretion discs of in-falling material. The accretion discs are believed to be the source of the observed ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet emission and absorption lines provide the best diagnostics for the composition of the surrounding material.Seen in visible light, most Seyfert galaxies look like normal spiral galaxies, but when studied under other wavelengths, it becomes clear that the luminosity of their cores is of comparable intensity to the luminosity of whole galaxies the size of the Milky Way.Seyfert galaxies are named after Carl Seyfert, who first described this class in 1943.

Supermassive black hole

A supermassive black hole (SMBH or sometimes SBH) is the largest type of black hole, containing a mass of the order of hundreds of thousands, to billions times, the mass of the Sun (M☉). This is a class of astronomical objects that has undergone gravitational collapse, leaving behind a spheroidal region of space from which nothing can escape; not even light. Observational evidence indicates that all, or nearly all, massive galaxies contain a supermassive black hole, located at the galaxy's center. In the case of the Milky Way, the supermassive black hole corresponds to the location of Sagittarius A* at the Galactic Core. Accretion of interstellar gas onto supermassive black holes is the process responsible for powering quasars and other types of active galactic nuclei.

See also
List of notable Seyfert galaxies
Seyfert 1
Seyfert 2

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