M106 is a spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici seen almost on edge, as its equatorial plane is only slightly inclined. Lying a little over 20 light years from Earth, it seems to have some prominent arms but is not quite a barred spiral. The galaxy displays strong dust lanes in its arms which also contain large knots of blue stars, hot, bright, and massive, having formed in recent times. At the same time, at least one arm in the galaxy is yellow in color, indicating a much older stellar content. M106 radiates strongly in the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and recent study indicates that the center is occupied by a 36 million solar mass black hole. This object is surrounded by a dense disk which emits microwave radiation (a maser, or Microwave Amplifier by Stimulated Emission or Radiation) as well as jets from the active center. In 1981, a supernova was seen which reached 16th magnitude.

Image taken Feb. 23, 2012, with the C-14 operating at F:3.5 and the ST-8 binned 2 X 2. Exposure is 15 minutes through each of the three color filters.