The Large Magellanic Cloud

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Optical photograph by Karl Henize.

The Large Magellanic Cloud is a Dwarf Irregular galaxy in orbit around our own Milky Way. It is a large object, several degrees in size, and easily visible to the unaided eye in Southern Hemisphere skies. The LMC is located in the constellation of Doradus at about 5h30m Right Ascension, -68 degrees Declination, and lies at a distance of roughly 50 kiloparsecs (160,000 light years) from Earth. The bright object just above the east (left) end of the bar in the picture is the Tarantula Nebula. A spectacular view of the ionized gas in the LMC is available on Astronomy Picture of the Day, courtesy of the Magellanic Cloud Emission Line Survey.

Ultraviolet, polarized, diffuse galactic light was successfully detected on the western (right) side of the LMC during the second flight of the Wide-field Imaging Survey Polarimeter in November 1995. For details, see Cole et al. 1999, Astronomical Journal, 118, 2280.


This page is maintained by Steven Gibson.