M106 has a water vapor megamaser (the equivalent of a laser operating in microwave instead of light and on a galactic scale) that is seen by the 22-GHz line of ortho-H2O that evidences dense and warm molecular gas. Water masers are useful to observe nuclear accretion disks in active galaxies. The water masers in M106 enabled the first case of a direct measurement of the distance to a galaxy and thereby providing an independent anchor for the cosmic distance ladder. M 106 has a slightly warped, thin, almost edge-on Keplerian disc which is on a subparsec scale. It surrounds a central area with mass 4 × 107M⊙.
It's one of the largest and brightest nearby galaxies, similar in size and luminosity to the Andromeda Galaxy.
^Karachentsev, Igor D.; Karachentseva, Valentina E.; Huchtmeier, Walter K.; Makarov, Dmitry I. (2003). "A Catalog of Neighboring Galaxies". The Astronomical Journal127 (4): 2031–2068. Bibcode:2004AJ....127.2031K. doi:10.1086/382905.