In the last 100 years alone, NGC 6946 has been home to 10 observed stellar explosions known as supernovae – for that reason, it became known as the Fireworks Galaxy!
There’s no fireworks display like the NGC 6946, a spiral galaxy around 22.5 million light-years away from Earth. In the last 100 years alone, it has been home to 10 observed stellar explosions known as supernovae – for that reason, it became known as the Fireworks Galaxy.
Discovered by William Herschel in September 1798, NGC 6946 has a diameter of approximately 40,000 light-years. For context, that’s about one-third of the Milky Way’s size.
Astronomers find the Fireworks Galaxy particularly intriguing due to the odd celestial objects that have been observed within it. This includes an object known as Hodge’s Complex, an interacting dwarf galaxy superimposed on the Fireworks Galaxy, and a Red Ellipse which astronomers think is the remnant of a very large supernova.