Unusual Objects in the Spiral Galaxy NGC 6946

Yu. N. Efremov 1
  • 1 Sternberg Astronomical Institute, M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Universitetskij pr. 13, Moscow 119899, Russian Federation


Several strange objects in the spiral galaxy NGC 6946 are described. One of these objects is the giant stellar complex noted long ago; we suggested that its sharp semicircular western edge is a result of the ram pressure, arising owing to motion of this complex through the HI halo of NGC 6946. We found another enigmatic object, proposing for it the name Red Ellipse; it is located within the isolated Northern arm of the galaxy. The enormous size of this Ellipse, and especially the spectroscopic data obtained recently with the 6-m reflector of the Special Astrophysical Observatory, made us to conclude that this object could not be a supernova remnant. The excellent image of NGC 6946 obtained with the Subaru 8-m telescope also shows a strange region with several regular crossed dark lanes, connected with a black spot.

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