May 22, 2024

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 11 February 2023: Stunning Magellanic Clouds

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There are a amount of satellite galaxies in the Milky Way Galaxy, but the largest is the Big Magellanic Cloud. This is what has been showcased in modern NASA Astronomy Image of the Day. The space company shared an impression representing two popular clouds in this Chilean Atacama Desert skyscape captured on January 21. But the truth is that they basically lie over and above our Milky Way – regarded as the Massive and the Smaller Magellanic Clouds. These had been named for the 16th-century Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, chief of the workforce that initial circumnavigated world Earth.

“Famous jewels of southern hemisphere skies, they are the brightest satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. The much larger cloud is some 160000 gentle-a long time, and the smaller sized 210000 gentle-yrs distant,” NASA spelled out about the picture. The two the Significant and Compact Magellanic Clouds are irregular dwarf galaxies, but they both of those demonstrate central barred buildings when seen through a broad-angle lens. In-depth and huge exposures also uncover faint nebular dust clouds, regarded as galactic cirrus, as nicely as the outcomes of gravitational tidal interactions involving the two Magellanic Clouds.

The Big Magellanic Cloud is characterised by its quite a few star-forming locations. From the Tarantula Nebula, the most radiant star-forming area in our vicinity, to LHA 120-N 11, which is partly depicted in this picture captured by the Hubble Place Telescope, the compact and irregular galaxy is speckled with dazzling nebulae, the most prominent indication that new stars are becoming formed, NASA defined.

What is a satellite galaxy?

The sunlight is just one of the several stars in the Milky Way galaxy, with hundreds of billions of stars orbiting the centre of the galaxy. Even so, there are even larger sized structures that orbit the heart of the Milky Way. These are other galaxies, each that contains its very own outstanding collection of stars, which all orbit their personal centers, but the galaxies and all the things in them also orbit our Milky Way galaxy. It is really like the Milky Way is the sunlight and these other galaxies are planets, which astronomers refer to as “satellite galaxies.”


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Source website link The Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA for February 11th, 2023 features two stunning galaxies in the night sky, known as the Magellanic Clouds.

Appearing as two faint patches of light in the southern sky, the Magellanic Clouds are located in the constellation of Dorado, Latin for “the goldfish.” The larger of the two is the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which stretches for about two-thirds of the size of the Milky Way. Its companion, the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), is much smaller and dimmer, although it is still visible with the naked eye.

The Magellanic Clouds have been observable since ancient times and form an important part of mythology and observations of the night sky. The LMC is particularly well-studied due to its proximity to Earth and its relatively active star-forming regions, making it a go-to observation target for astronomers the world over.

The image seen in the Astronomy Picture of the Day captures both the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds in incredible detail, with bright regions of star formation visible, as well as dark dust clouds. Also visible are a number of smaller galaxies in the same part of the sky, all of which stretch off into the distance.

For anyone looking for an incredible view of the night sky, the Magellanic Clouds are not to be missed. So the next time you’re out stargazing, take a look south for a glimpse of these two extraordinary galaxies.