NGC 6946, a face-on intermediate spiral galaxy 25.2 million light years away, has a well-earned nickname: the Fireworks Galaxy. Over the past 50 years, 10 supernovae have been observed going off in the galaxy (also known as Caldwell 12) compared to the Milky Way’s average of one or two per century. NGC 6946 is classified as an active starburst galaxy with an exceptional rate of star formation. First observed by William Herschel in 1798, the Fireworks Galaxy can be found along the border of the constellations of Cepheus and Cygnus.
This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows an isolated starburst galaxy named MCG+07-33-027. The galaxy lies some 300 million light-years away from us, and is currently experiencing an extraordinarily high rate of star formation — a starburst. Normal galaxies produce only a couple of new stars per year, but starburst galaxies can produce a hundred times more than that!