The galaxy Messier 106 (M 106) in the constellation Canes Venatici is one of our closer neighbour galaxies in roughly 23 million light years distance from the Milkyway and the Earth. The galaxy hosts an active nucleus with a black hole of approximately 40 million solar masses. The galaxy core is known as a radio source since the 1950s. Further the galaxy undergoes a period of increased star-formation (starburst galaxy).
The Markarian Chain is a group of galaxies in the Virgo galaxy cluster. The association is named after the Armenien astrophysicist Benjamin Markarian who studied them in the 1970s.
What is this diffuse spot close to Regulus, the main star in constellation Leo? These thoughts were not pondered by a famous discoverer but by myself while looking for deep sky object around constellation Leo worthwhile for a longer shooting session. I used the planetarium software Stellarium at that time. And the faint spot had never come across to me as a prominent object until that moment. There was no special catalogue identifier or label visible although the object appeared to be extended and not too dim.
With this picture we dive into the constellation Canes Venatici. The galaxy NGC 4631 on the left half of the image is known as whale galaxy while NGC 4656 and NGC 4657 on the right half of the image pane are known as hockey-stick or crowbar galaxy. The elongated part is catalogued as NGC 4656 while the smaller angled end is NGC 4657.
NGC 300 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor in a distance of roughly 6 million light years. It's appearance with hydrogen-alpha emission areas indicating star formation activities resembles one of our nearest neighbor galaxies, the triangulum galaxy M33 in approx. 2.7 Mio. light years distance.