Fireworks Galaxy- NGC 6946

The American space agency NASA recently shared unseen images of NGC 6946 also known as the Fireworks Galaxy. The images were shared in the periodical business of NASA to share images of outer space in order to reveal the ethereal and unseen sights in vivid and dreamy detail.


  • The images were captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
  • These images highlight the phenomenal details of the stars, spiral arms and other environments of NGC 6946.
  • NASA further highlights that, the star gazers can easily witness the NGC 6946 because it is a face-on galaxy.

Face-on Galaxy

Face-on Galaxy means that observers see it facing them at all times.

Edge-on Galaxy

When the galaxy can be seen from the side, it is known as an edge-on galaxy.

The Fireworks Galaxy

NGC 6946 is an intermediate spiral galaxy. It means that the structure of NGC 6946 sits between a full spiral and a barred spiral galaxy having a slight bar at its center.

Starburst Galaxy

NGC 6946 is also a starburst galaxy. Starburst galaxy means, the star undergoes a high rate of star formation.

About NGC 6946

  • NGC 6946 is also known as the Fireworks Galaxy or Caldwell 12.
  • It is a face-on intermediate spiral galaxy which has a small bright nucleus.
  • It is located at the boundary between the northern constellations of Cepheus and Cygnus.
  • The galaxy is located at the distance 25.2 million light-years or 7.72 megaparsecs from the Earth.
  • NGC 6946 lies within the Virgo Supercluster.
  • It was discovered by William Herschel on September 9, 1798.

Uniqueness of the Galaxy

The galaxy comprises of unusual celestial objects. This includes a ‘Red Ellipse’ along one of the northern arms. It looks like a super-bubble or very large supernova remnant. It also comprises of the regions of unusual dark lanes of nebulosity.


It is a constellation in the northern sky. It has been named after Cepheus who was a king of Aethiopia in Greek mythology.  The brightest star of the constellation is Alpha Cephei.


It is a northern constellation that lies on the plains of Milky Way. It has derived the name from the Latinized Greek word for swan. Its brightest star is Deneb.

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