NASA recently shared a mesmerising image of the “Fireworks Galaxy”. Officially known as the “NGC 6946”, the galaxy has undergone 10 supernovae in just the last century, a characteristic on which its name is based.
For comparison, our galaxy – the Milky Way experiences one to two supernova every century. In the image, which was clicked by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, one can see the stars, the spiralling arms, and other celestial facets of the Fireworks Galaxy.
The galaxy is situated 25.2 million light-years away from Earth, and lies along the border of the constellations of Cepheus and Cygnus, which are situated in the north.
“In the last century alone, the Fireworks Galaxy (or NGC 6946) has experienced 10 observed supernovae. For context, our Milky Way Galaxy averages just one to two supernova events per century! The Fireworks Galaxy resides 25.2 million light-years away from us, along the border of the northern constellations of Cepheus and Cygnus,” said NASA Hubble’s Instagram caption.
The galaxy is in the “face-on” position as opposed to the “edge-on” position, which means that the galaxy is facing us, as opposed to appearing from its side.
Officially, it is classified as an intermediate spiral galaxy as well as a starburst galaxy.
Another galaxy-related feat achieved
Earlier, astronomers peeked into what they considered the oldest and most distant galaxy to date.
Called GN-z11, the galaxy is 13.4 billion light-years or 134 nonillion kilometres away from us.
The galaxy has been discovered by an international team of astronomers led by Nobunari Kashikawa, a professor at the department of astronomy at the University of Tokyo.
Kashikawa said – “From previous studies, the galaxy GN-z11 seems to be the farthest detectable galaxy from us, at 13.4 billion light-years, or 134 nonillion kilometres (that’s 134 followed by 30 zeros). But measuring and verifying such a distance is not an easy task.”