Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have captured an amazing new photo of the medium-sized, face-on spiral galaxy NGC 6946.
Also known as LEDA 65001, UGC 11597 and APG 29, the galaxy has a diameter of 70,000 light-years.
NGC 6946 was discovered on September 9, 1798 by the German-born British astronomer William Herschel.
It is a member of the NGC 6946 group, which also includes several spiral and dwarf irregular galaxies.
“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,” Hubble astronomers said.
“This 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 center, and the latter means it has an exceptionally high rate of star formation.”
“In comparison, our Milky Way averages just 1-2 supernova events per century.”