NGC 6946

The Fireworks Galaxy


NGC 6946

“the Fire Works Galaxy”

NGC 6946 is a medium-sized, face-on spiral galaxy about 22 million light years away from Earth.  It is located behind a veil of foreground dust and stars in the high and far-off constellation of Cepheus. From our vantage point in the Milky Way Galaxy, we see NGC 6946 face-on. NGC 6946 is bright in infrared light and rich in gas and dust, exhibiting a furious rate of star formation. Nearly 40,000 light-years across, the nearby spiral is fittingly referred to as the Fireworks Galaxy. Over the last 100 years, at least nine supernovae, the death explosions of massive stars, were discovered in NGC 6946. By comparison, the average rate for supernovae in the Milky Way is about 1 per century.

Also in the Image (upper Right) is the open star Cluster NGC 6939.  a dim open star cluster. Its eerie glow is partially resolved into stars at medium power, in the northern part of the cluster you will see three stars disposed in a triangle.  Open cluster NGC 6939 is approximately 5,000 light-years away in the constellation Cepheus.

Imaging Data

Date: 8-27-2014

Location : Sudbury, Massachusetts

Optics : Televue-85 and 0.8X FR

Filter(s) : Astronomik CLS

Mount : AP Mach-1 GTO

Autoguiding : CoSTAR with Stellarvue 60mm Finder and PHD

Camera : Canon EOS 1000D Astro-modified

Exposure info : 51 x 2.5 minute Exposures at ISO 800

Total Exposure : 2.1 Hours

Processed in Pixinsight

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