Large Magellanic Cloud

From Academic Kids

The Large Magellanic Cloud (also known as LMC) is a dwarf galaxy that is in orbit around our own Milky Way galaxy. It is at a distance of about fifty kiloparsecs (50,000 parsecs, or 160,000 light years). It has about 1/20 the diameter of our Galaxy and 1/10 the number of stars (i.e. about <math>10^{10}<math> stars). While somewhat irregular in morphology, it does have some traces of spiral structure.

The Large Magellanic Cloud.
Enlarge
The Large Magellanic Cloud.

Some speculate that the LMC was once a barred spiral galaxy that was disrupted by the Milky Way, to become type Irr-I. It still contains a central bar structure, and is the fourth largest member of the Local Group, following the Andromeda Galaxy,the Milky way , and M33 in that order.

It is visible as a faint object in the night sky of the southern hemisphere, straddling the border between the constellations of Dorado and Mensa. It is named after Ferdinand Magellan, who observed it and the companion Small Magellanic Cloud in his circumnavigational voyage around the Earth. (But note that it was already mentioned around 964 by 'Abd Al-Rahman Al Sufi in his Book of Fixed Stars.)

It is home to the Tarantula Nebula, the most active starburst region in the Local Group of galaxies.

See also

fi:Suuri Magalhesin pilvi fr:Grand Nuage de Magellan io:Magelanala Nubi it:Grande Nube di Magellano ja:大マゼラン銀河 ru:Большое Магелланово Облако sv:Stora magellanska molnet

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