NGC 6946 & SN 2017eaw– The Fireworks Galaxy in Cepheus

NGC 6946 & SN 2017eaw– The Fireworks Galaxy in Cepheus
Telescope: Meade SN8 at f/4, Orion Atlas EQ-G
Camera: ZWO ASI071MC, Highpoint Scientific UV/IR filter
Sensor Temperature: 0C, Gain: 200, Offset: 50
Guide scope: Williams Optics 50mm, Meade DSI Pro II, PHD
Exposure: 95x120sec saved as FITS
Darks: 32x120sec saved as FITS
Flats: 32x5sec, LED tracing tablet
Average Light Pollution: Red zone, good transparency
Lensed Sky Quality Meter: 18.6 mag/arc-sec^2
Stacking: Mean with a 2-sigma clip.
White Balance: Nebulosity Automatic
Software: Nebulosity, Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop

NGC 6946 is a beautiful face-on spiral galaxy hiding behind a veil of interstellar dust in Cepheus. The dust gives this galaxy its wonderful tint of amber. This galaxy has been nicknamed the Fireworks Galaxy because of the unusually high number of supernovas observed within it. Supernovas are rare and a typical galaxy may host 1 every hundred years. Since 1917, NGC 6946 has had ten, the most recent having been discovered earlier this year; SN 2017eaw. In this picture supernova 2017eaw is marked in the spiral arm to the upper right of the core. The supernova is presently glowing at about magnitude 13, putting it within reach of moderate sized telescopes.

This is the second in a series of images that I am taking to explore the use of a simple UV/IR filter and adjusting the white balance as part of my processing in place of my usual Orion Imaging Skyglow filter. This first example is quite encouraging.


NGC 6946 (7-25-2017) SN2017eaw-1j.jpg
NGC 6946 (7-25-2017)-3j.jpg