Frank's Astrophotos

The galaxy M106

This galaxy goes only by the boring name “M106”, but it’s anything but boring.

About 23 million light-years away, M106 is pretty similar to Andromeda in its size and brightness. But M106 is a lot weirder.

In addition to its slightly warped shape, M106 is the home of a giant water-vapor “megamaser.” Think a galaxy-sized laser beam made of microwaved water vapor. We’re talking galactic death rays here!

This image represents over 7 hours of exposure time, and even so, it’s still kind of grainy. 23 million light years is very far away!


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