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Friday, December 16, 2011

Spiral Galaxy NGC 6946 as viewed by the Subaru Telescope

Spiral Galaxy NGC 6946 as viewed by the Subaru Telescope
Click on the image for full resolution

NGC 6946, (also known as the Fireworks Galaxy, Arp 29, and Caldwell 12), is an intermediate spiral galaxy about 22 million light-years away, on the border between the constellations Cepheus and Cygnus. It was discovered by William Herschel on September 9, 1798. NGC 6946 is highly obscured by interstellar matter of the Milky Way galaxy, as it is quite close to the galactic plane. Nine supernovae (SN 1917A, SN 1939C, SN 1948B, SN 1968D, SN 1969P, SN 1980K, SN 2002hh, SN 2004et, and SN 2008S) have been observed in NGC 6946. This gorgeous image was acquired by the Suprime-Cam instrument mounted on Japan's 8.2-meter Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
Credit: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)
Image enhancement: Jean-Baptiste Faure

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