NGC 4258 (M106) is a spiral galaxy located 23.7 million light years from
the Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici.
NGC 4258 (Spiral Galaxy, M106) : Picture
M106 Across the Spectrum
(C) X-ray - NASA / CXC / Caltech / P.Ogle et al., Optical - NASA/STScI,
IR - NASA/JPL-Caltech, Radio - NSF/NRAO/VLA
The spiral arms of bright, active galaxy M106 sprawl through this remarkable
multiwavelength portrait, composed of image data from radio to X-rays,
across the electromagnetic spectrum. Also known as NGC 4258, M106 can be
found toward the northern constellation Canes Venatici. The well-measured
distance to M106 is 23.5 million light-years, making this cosmic scene
about 60,000 light-years across. Typical in grand spiral galaxies, dark
dust lanes, youthful star clusters, and star forming regions trace spiral
arms that converge on a bright nucleus. But this composite highlights two
anomalous arms in radio (purple) and X-ray (blue) that seem to arise in
the central region of M106, evidence of energetic jets of material blasting
into the galaxy's disk. The jets are likely powered by matter falling into
a massive central black hole.
NGC 4258, also known as Messier 106, is 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.