Photo of the Week for May 13, 2016
The spring sky is jam-packed with galaxies, but only a handful are as conspicuous in a telescope as M106, in Canes Venatici. Glowing at magnitude 9.1, it can even be made out in binoculars under a dark sky. Partly this is a result of the galaxy’s proximity — it’s roughly 22 million light-years away. That’s ten time farther than the famed Andromeda spiral (M31), but barely half as far as the swarm making up the Virgo Galaxy Cluster. And as with most objects beyond our Milky Way, M106 only reveals its full glory in long-exposure photographs, such as this one by Victoria, British Columbia, astrophotographer Dan Posey.
He captured M106 with the 14-inch Meade LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Victoria Centre’s observatory, located on the grounds of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory on Little Saanich Mountain. The image presented here combines exposure data acquired with a Canon EOS 6D DSLR camera working at ISO 1600 (135 minutes) and a QSI 583c CCD camera (90 minutes).