NGC 6946, the fireworks galaxy is a 9th magnitude face-on spiral galaxy that forms a nice pair with the nearby 7.8th magnitude open cluster NGC 6939. NGC 6946 is a fine galaxy in larger telescopes but rather dull in small telescopes which show this galaxy as a pale undistinguished glow. The beauty comes in the contrast formed between the faint haze of NGC 6946 and the granular structure of the open cluster. Because NGC 6946 lies near the galactic plane, photographs reveal a galaxy highly obscured by matter from our own Milky Way. Six supernovae have been detected in this galaxy, more than in any other galaxy. The Hubble Space Telescope has identified a bright spot caused by the collision of two expanding supernova remnant shells.
|Exposure Info||6.5 hours total exposure time (26 x 15min)|
|Date||October 27, 2008|
|Copyright||Photo copyright Thomas Kerns, Beluga Lake Observatory|