LMC - 135mm f2

© 2014 Klaus Brasch

The following was retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, at on March 1, 2014

The Large Magellanic Cloud

"The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is a nearby galaxy, and a satellite of the Milky Way. At a distance of slightly less than 50 kiloparsecs (≈163,000 light-years), the LMC is the third closest galaxy to the Milky Way, with the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal (~ 16 kiloparsecs) and the putative Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy (~ 12.9 kiloparsecs, though its status as a galaxy is under dispute) lying closer to the center of the Milky Way. It has a mass equivalent to approximately 10 billion times the mass of the Sun (1010 solar masses), making it roughly 1/100 as massive as the Milky Way, and a diameter of about 14,000 light-years (~ 4.3 kpc). The LMC is the fourth largest galaxy in the Local Group, after the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), the Milky Way, and the Triangulum Galaxy (M33).

While the LMC is often considered an irregular type galaxy (the NASA Extragalactic Database lists the Hubble sequence type as Irr/SB(s)m), the LMC contains a very prominent bar in its center, suggesting that it may have previously been a barred spiral galaxy. The LMC's irregular appearance is possibly the result of tidal interactions with both the Milky Way and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC).

It is visible as a faint "cloud" in the night sky of the southern hemisphere straddling the border between the constellations of Dorado and Mensa, and it appears from Earth more than 20 times the width of the full moon."

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