NGC 6946

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Obj Type
Date Taken:
NGC 6946
Mayhill, NM

The FireCracker Galaxy - NGC 6946 by Dietmar Hager

It's time to take a look back to what was happening 210 years ago on the night of September 9th. Sir William Herschel was at the eyepiece of his telescope in Slough. While he was viewing in real time, what he was viewing occurred more than 10 million years ago – the fireworks that ignited in NGC 6946.

At one time, it was widely believed that NGC 6946 was a member of our Local Group of Galaxies mainly because it could be easily resolved into stars. There was a reddening observed in it, believed to be indicative of distance – but now know to be caused by interstellar dust. But it isn't the shrouding dust cloud that makes NGC 6946 so interesting, it's the fact that so many supernova and star-forming events have sparkled in its arms in the last few years that has science puzzled! So many, in fact, that they've been recorded every year or two for the last 60 years…

Technical Details
Exposure Time:
RGB 1.5 hours each - 4.5 hours total - 1x1 binning
RCOS 16 inch f/8.7 Ritchey-Chretien
Software Bisque Paramount ME
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