The Fireworks Galaxy

NGC 6946 is known as the Fireworks Galaxy, In the past century, nine supernovae have been observed to explode in its spiral arms. This makes it the most prolific known galaxy for this type of event over a period of 100 years. By comparison, the Milky Way galaxy, which has twice as many stars as NGC 6946, averages one supernova event per century.

Image Credits: NASA, ESA, STScI, R. Gendler, and the Subaru Telescope (NAOJ)

A Supernova Factory

ngc 1448This is the spiral galaxy NGC 1448 which has a prominent disc of very bright, young stars surrounding its small core. Recently, this galaxy has recently been a prolific factory of supernovae, the dramatic explosions that mark the death of stars—one was observed in 1983, and two more have been discovered since the turn of the century.

Image Credit: ESO

A Supernova

NGC 6984Supernovae are incredibly bright. They are formed as a star reaches the end of its life with a dramatic explosion, expelling most of its material out into space. This Hubble image of spiral galaxy NGC 6984 shows supernova SN 2013ek. It’s the bright spot just slightly above and to the right of the galaxy’s center. There was another supernova (2012im) last year is this same galaxy.

Image Credit: NASA