The origin of the peculiar stellar complex in the outskirts of the spiral galaxy NGC 6946 is discussed. The complex hosts a superstar cluster, two dozen smaller bright clusters and many high-luminosity stars 5-30 Myears old. In spite of this, no features in H I or CO are associated with the complex. The most simple explanation is that the complex is a foreground blue compact galaxy, a member of the NGC 6946 group. The arc of high light absorption along the complex rim could then be the result of the ram pressure of the intergalactic medium gas. The existing velocity data cannot prove or disprove this hypothesis.
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Blue compact galaxies;
NGC 6946 galaxy;
Young massive clusters
Document Type: Research Article
Sternberg Astronomical Institute Universitetskij Prospekt 13 Moscow 119992 Russia
Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia Granada Spain
University of Washington Seattle Washington USA
European Southern Observatory Garching Germany
Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias La Laguna Spain
Publication date: 2004-04-01
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