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Astr112 Photography Projects, Fall 2007

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Galaxy NGC 6946, Brittney Isringhausen

NGC 6946

This is a picture of the spiral galaxy NGC 6946.  A spiral galaxy is a flattened, rotating galaxies with pinwheel-like spiral arms winding outward from the galaxies nucleus.  NGC 6946 is 10 million light years away. This spiral galaxy is on the border of the constellations Cepheus and Cygnus. It was discovered by William Herschel on September 9, 1798. NGC 6946 is one of a dozen neighboring galaxies of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Due to our vantage point we are able to see it face on. 

NGC 6946 is often referred to as the "Fireworks Galaxy." In this photo of NGC 6946 we can see the different colors of stars.  At the center, the yellowish light is the older stars, moving out to the blue younger star clusters, and then to the faint reddish star forming regions.  Surrounding this galaxy we see thousands of stars of many colors from our own galaxy. In the center a small barred structure is visible in the galaxy’s core.  This galaxy is rich in gas and dust which is aparent in the spiral arms. The linear size of NGC 6946 is 15,000 light years by 21,000 light years.  

References:
NASA Extragalactic Database
http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/

"Fireworks Galaxy." Wikipedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireworks_Galaxy

Robert Gendler "Facing NGC 6946" Astronomy Picture of the Day http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040410.html

Right Ascension (J2000) 20:34:48
Declination (J2000) +60:09:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 300 seconds in BVRC
Date observed

October 18, 2007 (BVRC)