APOD: The View Toward M106 (2016 Jan 16)

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APOD: The View Toward M106 (2016 Jan 16)

Postby APOD Robot » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:05 am

Image The View Toward M106

Explanation: A big, bright, beautiful spiral, Messier 106 is at the center of this galaxy filled cosmic vista. The two degree wide telescopic field of view looks toward the well-trained constellation Canes Venatici, near the handle of the Big Dipper. Also known as NGC 4258, M106 is about 80,000 light-years across and 23.5 million light-years away, the largest member of the Canes II galaxy group. For a far away galaxy, the distance to M106 is well-known in part because it can be directly measured by tracking this galaxy's remarkable maser, or microwave laser emission. Very rare but naturally occuring, the maser emission is produced by water molecules in molecular clouds orbiting its active galactic nucleus. Another prominent spiral galaxy on the scene, viewed nearly edge-on, is NGC 4217 below and right of M106. The distance to NGC 4217 is much less well-known, estimated to be about 60 million light-years.

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Re: APOD: The View Toward M106 (2016 Jan 16)

Postby Ann » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:36 am

That's a lovely image! I love pictures of galactic neighborhoods. :ssmile:

Even though M106 isn't richly starforming, it stands out as the only large-looking galaxy in the field that obviously contains young blue stars and pink nebulas. All the other "obvious" galaxies in the image look yellow and old. Admittedly, NGC 4248, immediately to the right of M106, does contain young stars and at least one major emission nebula. And a small interacting pair some distance to the right of NGC 4248, NGC 4231 and 4232, apparently have large populations of young blue stars. They seem to be much farther away than M106, though.

In the nearby universe star formation is winding down, and most galaxies contain little or negligible star formation. But almost all major spirals still churn out new stars, even though the star forming ability of NGC 4217 doesn't look impressive in today's APOD. But a Hubble closeup of NGC 4217 reveals some blue stars in the dust lane of NGC 4217, and the dust lane itself is showing signs of major disturbance caused by supernovas from massive stars.

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Re: APOD: The View Toward M106 (2016 Jan 16)

Postby Boomer12k » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:33 am

Anybody notice that it M106 looks like it has TWO cores?
They look like they are swirling around each other, trailing "arms"...it looks like many mergers have happened...or being disrupted by others in the group.

Anyway...very interesting image.

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Re: APOD: The View Toward M106 (2016 Jan 16)

Postby JKamminga » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:40 am

All,

With this image- can anyone estimate the total number of galaxies in view? I started to lose count at around 30... mind blowing stuff.

JK.

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Re: APOD: The View Toward M106 (2016 Jan 16)

Postby Ann » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:14 am

Boomer12k wrote:Anybody notice that it M106 looks like it has TWO cores?
They look like they are swirling around each other, trailing "arms"...it looks like many mergers have happened...or being disrupted by others in the group.

Anyway...very interesting image.

:---[===] *


M106 is interesting indeed, and its extra arms are extra interesting.

The picture at left is a composite image where blue represents X-rays from the Chandra Space Telescope, purple is radio waves form the VLA, red is infrared light from the Spitzer Space Telescope and yellow and blue is optical data from Hubble. You can see the extra arms outlined in X-rays and radio waves.

Chandra Harvard wrote:
A galaxy about 23 million light years away is the site of impressive, ongoing, fireworks. Rather than paper, powder, and fire, this galactic light show involves a giant black hole, shock waves, and vast reservoirs of gas.

This galactic fireworks display is taking place in NGC 4258 (also known as M106), a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way. This galaxy is famous, however, for something that our Galaxy doesn't have - two extra spiral arms that glow in X-ray, optical, and radio light. These features, or anomalous arms, are not aligned with the plane of the galaxy, but instead intersect with it.


According to the Harvard Chandra page that I just linked to, the cause of the extra arms may be two powerful jets from the supermassive central black hole of the galaxy. These powerful jets strike the disk of M106, heating some of its gas to thousands of degrees and causing some of the gas to be ejected from the galaxy - probably, I think, along the anomalous arms.

The ejection of gas from the disk by the jets has important implications for the fate of this galaxy. Researchers estimate that all of the remaining gas will be ejected within the next 300 million years - very soon on cosmic time scales - unless it is somehow replenished. Because most of the gas in the disk has already been ejected, less gas is available for new stars to form. Indeed, the researchers used Spitzer data to estimate that stars are forming in the central regions of NGC 4258, at a rate which is about ten times less than in the Milky Way Galaxy.


Oh! :o M106 is apparently well on its way to becoming a lenticular, red and dead galaxy!

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Re: APOD: The View Toward M106 (2016 Jan 16)

Postby neufer » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:42 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messier_106 wrote:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
<<Messier 106 (also known as NGC 4258) is a Seyfert II galaxy discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781. Due to x-rays and unusual emission lines detected, it is suspected that part of the galaxy is falling into a supermassive 4 × 107M⊙ black hole in the center. M106 has a water vapor megamaser 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. 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 and thereby providing an independent anchor for the cosmic distance ladder.>>
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Re: APOD: The View Toward M106 (2016 Jan 16)

Postby Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:14 pm

“Roses Are Red That Much Is True But Violets Are Purple Not Freaking Blue”


The merger of two galaxies occasionally turn into “ a one liner”.
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Re: APOD: The View Toward M106 (2016 Jan 16)

Postby DavidLeodis » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:22 pm

From the explanation I assumed that NGC 4217 is a member of the Canes II group but I have found that it is not. In information I found it states "Although it is located in the constellation of Canes Venatici, NGC 4217 is a member of the Ursa Major South Group, which contains 28 galaxies with a diameter above thirty thousand light-years. This group lies right next to the Canes II Group, which includes the spiral galaxy Messier 106 (also known NGC 4258). NGC 4217 is possibly a companion of Messier 106.". This is probably already well-known to the astronomy knowledgeable APOD viewers but I thought I would mention it for those like me that are not so knowledgeable.

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Re: APOD: The View Toward M106 (2016 Jan 16)

Postby starsurfer » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:53 pm

This is a marvellously deep image of one of the best galaxies in Canes Venatici! I hope Fabian Neyer takes a deep image of the Sunflower Galaxy, the field of view would be perfect for its many tidal loops and streams. Also Fabian has been part of some pro-am collaborations to discover unknown dwarf galaxies, see below:
http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.2719
http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.00955
http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.04446


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