A Galaxy to Take Your Breath Away

Esahubble_potw2101a_1024

esahubble_potw2101a January 4th, 2021

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Leroy, K. S. Long

The galaxy NGC 6946 is nothing short of spectacular. In the last century alone, NGC 6946 has experienced 10 observed supernovae, earning its nickname as the Fireworks Galaxy. In comparison, our Milky Way averages just 1-2 supernova events per century. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the stars, spiral arms, and various stellar environments of NGC 6946 in phenomenal detail. We are able to marvel at NGC 6946 as it is a face-on galaxy, which means that we see the galaxy facing us, rather than seeing it from the side (known as edge-on). The Fireworks Galaxy is further classified as an intermediate spiral galaxy and as a starburst galaxy. The former means the structure of NGC 6946 sits between a full spiral and a barred spiral galaxy, with only a slight bar in its centre, and the latter means it has an exceptionally high rate of star formation. The galaxy resides 25.2 million light-years away, along the border of the northern constellations of Cepheus and Cygnus (The Swan).

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://esahubble.org/images/potw2101a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, None, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
NGC 6946
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
Esahubble_potw2101a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 20h 34m 53.3s
DEC = 60° 9’ 15.4”
Orientation
North is 301.9° CW
Field of View
6.6 x 5.9 arcminutes
Constellation
Cygnus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (WFC3) Infrared (YJ) 1.1 µm
Cyan Hubble (WFC3) Infrared (YJ) 1.1 µm
Cyan Hubble (WFC3) Infrared (H) 1.6 µm
Orange Hubble (WFC3) Infrared (Paschen beta) 1.3 µm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Cyan
Cyan
Orange
Esahubble_potw2101a_1280
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ID
potw2101a
Subject Category
C.5.1.1  
Subject Name
NGC 6946
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Leroy, K. S. Long
Release Date
2021-01-04T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://esahubble.org/images/potw2101a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3
Color Assignment
Blue, Cyan, Cyan, Orange
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
YJ, YJ, H, Paschen beta
Central Wavelength
1100, 1100, 1600, 1280
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None, None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
308.722082539, 60.1542715153
Reference Dimension
3111.0, 2780.0
Reference Pixel
1555.5, 1390.0
Scale
-3.55291819954e-05, 3.55291819954e-05
Rotation
-301.86000000000087
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
http://www.spacetelescope.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
None
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
potw2101a
Metadata Date
2020-12-29T14:14:55+01:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.