Waid Observatory

M94 - The Cat's Eye Galaxy

Date: April, 2021  -   Location: Davis Mountains, TX
Telescope: 10in. RC   Mount: Paramount MX   Camera: Apogee ALTA F8300M
Exposure:   L = 200 min. (bin 1x1 - 20 min. exp)
R = 200 min., B&G = 180 min. each, (bin 2x2 - 10 min. exp)

Click on the image to view at higher resolution.




M94 1
Messier 94 (NGC 4736) is commonly known as the Cat's Eye Galaxy.  It is located in the constellation Canes Venatice and lies approximately 16 million light years from the Earth.  The galaxy was discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1781.  Charles Messier added it to his catalog a few days later.

M94's structure displays a series of rings.  The innermost is a bright blue ring of active star formation surrounded by a structure with prominent dust bands extending outward in a spiral pattern.  As evident in the image above, there is a faint outer ring that appears to have some spiral characteristics.

In 2008 a study was published showing M94 has very little, if any, dark matter.  The rotational velocity of the galaxy's stars, the density of hydrogen, and the ordinary luminous matter seem to account for all of M94's mass.  Current models of galaxy formation require galaxies to from inside a halo of dark matter.  The apparent lack of dark matter in M94 is of scientific interest requiring additional research to determine just how the galaxy formed.


Copyright Donald P. Waid