Hubble catches breathtaking views of the ‘galaxy of fireworks’

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Nothing less than amazing is the galaxy NGC 6946.

“NGC 6946 has witnessed 10 detected supernovae in the last century alone, earning it the nickname “Fireworks Galaxy”.

Our Milky Way averages just 1-2 supernova events per century, by contrast.

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image displays in phenomenal detail the stars, spiral arms, and various stellar environments of NGC 6946.
We are able to marvel at NGC 6946 because it is a face-on galaxy, meaning that we see the galaxy “from the front” instead of looking at it from the side (known as edge-on).

Often known as an intermediate spiral galaxy and a starburst galaxy is the Fireworks Galaxy.

The former implies that the configuration of NGC 6946 is intermediate between a complete spiral galaxy and a barred spiral galaxy, with only a small bar at its middle, and the latter implies that the star formation rate is extremely high.

The galaxy, along the border of the northern constellations of Cepheus and Cygnus, is 25.2 million light-years distant (The Swan).

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