Messier 106 or M106 (also designated NGC 4258) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. It has an apparent visual magnitude of 8.4 and its angular diameter is 19x8 arc-minutes. M106 lies at an estimated distance of 25 million light years. The Equinox 2000 coordinates are RA= 12h 18.9m, Dec= +47° 19´ which makes M106 best seen during the spring. The Messier Spring Star Chart shows the position of all Messier objects visible during that season.

The image above shows the uncropped view of M106 through the Takahashi E-180 Astrograph (North is up). A 3x enlargement of this image appears to the right.

This spiral galaxy was discovered by P. Méchain in 1781. M106 has been identified as a Seyfert galaxy with an Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN).

According to Stoyan et al. (2010), the distance of M106 is 25.7 million light years and its diameter is 135,000 light years.

For more information, see the Messier Catalog as well as specific entries for M106 in Wikipedia and SEDS.

Messier's Description of M106

Méchain in his letter to Bernoulli, May 6, 1783)
`In July 1781 I found another nebula close to the Great Bear [Ursa Major] near the star No. 3 of the Hunting Dogs [Canes Venatici] and 1 deg more south, I estimate its right ascension 181d 40' and its northern declination about 49d. I will be going to determine the more acurate position of this one shortly.'

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