NATIONAL OPTICAL ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORIES / COLOURED BY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL OPTICAL ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORIES / COLOURED BY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Spiral galaxy NGC 6946. Coloured optical image of the spiral galaxy NGC 6946. The spiral arms (pink) radiate from the central nucleus (white). This galaxy lies around 20 million light years from Earth in the constellation Cepheus. It is over 70,000 light years across. NGC 6946 produces many supernovae, with six being detected in the 20th century. However, as NGC 6946 lies in the plane of our galaxy, they are obscured by nearby stars. This image was taken by the 4-metre telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, USA.
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