Large Magellanic Cloud, optical image

Large Magellanic Cloud, optical image

C023/8081

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Caption

Large Magellanic Cloud. Infrared space telescope image of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way that lies around 160,000 light years from Earth. Here, the blue colour, seen most prominently in the central bar, represents starlight from older stars. The chaotic, bright regions outside this bar are filled with hot, massive stars buried in thick blankets of dust. The red colour around these bright regions is from dust heated by stars, while the red dots scattered throughout the picture are either dusty, old stars or more distant galaxies. The greenish clouds contain cooler interstellar gas and molecular-sized dust grains illuminated by ambient starlight. Imaged by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Release details

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