M106 (NGC 4258) was first discovered
by Pierre Mechain in 1781. It was posthumously added to the Messier
catalog in the 21st century. It lies approximately 25 million light
years away from Earth and spans 80,000 light years. M106 is considered
a Seyfert II galaxy in that it has a very bright, quasar-like nucleus
that is high in x-ray and ionization spectral emissions. This indicates
that part of the galaxy may be falling into a massive black hole.
The galaxy below, NGC 4217 is a
companion to M106.