Do you notice anything funny about this picture of NGC 6946, the "Fireworks Galaxy"? Like that lurid wealth of red splotches, for example? The bright red areas represent regions in the galaxy that are actively forming new stars, and there do seem to be an awful lot of them. Could we be facing a star-formation gap with this malevolent galaxy, which is a mere 100 million light years away from us? Could all those bonus stars be the breeding ground for the invaders who will subjugate our descendants in a mere billion years or so? We'd better start preparing for the worst. To help you prepare, here's a rogues gallery of the many faces of the Fireworks Galaxy. (Even its name is violent!)
New image from Spitzer Space Telescope.