M106 in Canes Venatici, with a 4 inch refractor


M106, a galaxy in Canes Venatici
Sketch and Details by Rony De Laet

Messier 106 is one of my favourite Messier galaxies. In a small telescope M106 offers a surprising sight. Not only is it an bright object, it also shows some distinct features. At low power, the galaxy appears elongated in a N-S direction. At first sight, the nucleus appears stellar to me. But then with a closer look, the nuclear region seems to be broken in pieces. The northern spiral arm is the most conspicuous one. It can be followed from the core to the northern edge of the halo. There are some traces of the southern arm visible as well, but they do not stand out that easily against the mottled glow of the galaxy’s halo. An interesting exercise is to look for dark features or patches within the soft glow of the halo. M106 is estimated to be 25 million l-y away. This bright galaxy can be found halfway on an imaginary line drawn from Gamma Ursae Majoris to Beta Canes Venaticorum.

Site : Bekkevoort, Belgium ( 51° N )
Date : March 23, 2009
Time : around 21.30 UT
Scope : Skywatcher 102/500mm achromatic refractor
Eyepiece : Baader Hyperion Zoom at 8mm
Magnifiction : 63x
FOV: 65’
Filter : none
Seeing : 3/5
Transp. : 2/5
Sky brightness : 19.42 magnitudes per square arc second near zenith (SQM reading).
Nelm: 5.0
Sketch Orientation: N up, W right.
Digital sketch made with Corel Paint Shop Pro X2, based on a raw pencil sketch.

Rony De Laet

3 thoughts on “M106 in Canes Venatici, with a 4 inch refractor”

  1. Rony,

    Excellent sketch of M 106. I agree that this one is bright for observing with a small scope. This is a great capture for this galaxy.

    Frank 🙂

  2. Rony,
    The view and Your sketch is really BIG suprise. The small scope, the right object and You are enough to produce so fine sketch.

    Waiting for more… 🙂

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