NGC6946 The Fireworks Galaxy - photographed by an amateur astronomer in the mountains of San Diego, CA.
I took this picture from the mountains near San Diego with a Celestron 11" telescope. The total exposure time was more than 4 hours during which a separate camera and computer was automatically guiding my telescope to maintain precise pointing. The fireworks galaxy is an intermediate spiral galaxy that was discovered in 1798 and is located 18 million light years from earth. It is called the 'Fireworks' galaxy because of the numerous bright patches of star forming regions throughout the galaxy. This galaxy also produces more supernovae than most other galaxies of its size. The high density of stars seen in the background throughout the image are actually stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy.