NGC 6946 sits about 25 million light-years away, shut sufficient that it was as soon as thought that it was part of the Native Group, our galactic neighborhood within the universe. It’s not that massive of a galaxy – roughly 40,000 lightyears throughout – however what it lacks in dimension it makes up for in panache.
Over the previous 100 years, astronomers have witness ten supernovae explosions within the Fireworks Galaxy, as NGC 6946 is best identified. That’s a lot increased than your common spiral galaxy, which generally solely produces just a few each century. What’s extra, X-ray observations have revealed much more supernovae within the current previous, indicating that this isn’t a brand new factor for NGC 6946.
Mockingly, the boastful supernovae charge in NGC 6946 isn’t as a result of the Fireworks Galaxy is sweet at killing stars, it’s as a result of it’s good at making them. NGC 6946 has a higher-than-average star formation charge. Extra stars of every kind = extra massive, short-lived stars = extra supernova explosions.
So why does NGC 6946 have such a excessive star formation charge? Astronomers aren’t certain. Maybe it suffered a current merger. Or maybe its fuel reserves cooled and contracted . Whereas we puzzle over this specific astronomical riddle, at the very least we are able to benefit from the present.