Pictures of the Fireworks Galaxy
Images and facts about NGC 6946, the Fireworks Galaxy, home to fierce star birth and regular stellar explosions known as supernovae.
NGC 6946 is known as the Fireworks Galaxy because in the last 100 years alone it has been home to 10 observed stellar explosions known as supernovae. If ever there were a galaxy that deserved to be known for its stellar fireworks, this is it!
The Fireworks Galaxy is a perfect example of a galaxy positioned relative to Earth so we can see it face-on, unlike edge-on galaxies such as the Needle Galaxy, for example.
Images of the Fireworks Galaxy reveal bright blue pockets of newly formed stars within the distinct spiral arms, and a luminous galactic core.
The Fireworks Galaxy is an intermediate spiral galaxy and is also known as a ‘starburst galaxy’, due to its high rate of star formation.
The galaxy is located about 25 million lightyears away from us and can be seen on the border of the Cepheus and Cygnus constellations.
Below is a selection of images of the Fireworks Galaxy captured by astrophotographers and BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers from around the world.